Although Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s directing debut, “This is the End,” is already in the black after less than a week in release, the concept might’ve previously seemed like a risk. But the bold idea of Seth and his famous friends (including James Franco, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride) playing themselves in a sci-fi/horror/comedy was anything but a sure thing. Now that the movie is scoring with audiences and critics alike, you’ll forgive Seth if he lets out that famous laugh with a little extra gusto this week.
Rogen stopped by for a relaxed chat with MTV News the other day, even as he was still in full media swing and about to start on co-directing another comedy starring himself and Franco (look for our report on “The Interview” soon).
Below is Rogen in his own words. After all, he says it best himself.
Combining Sci-Fi And Comedy Can Be Tricky
“It is kind of an elusive thing, which is weird because, to us, it always seemed so clear. I think ’Pineapple Express’ was our first attempt of ’Can you combine the most normal kind of characters with the most ridiculous kind of story and situation and can it feel real?’ Not like, completely real, but real enough that you’re invested and there’s a real level of danger and it seems like it could be happening, and it worked really well. We’d always been fans of ’Ghostbusters’ and Tim Burton’s early movies like ’Beetlejuice,’ which does a good job of combining a simple emotional story with insane supernatural sh–.”
The Ghostbusters/Insidious/This Is The End Connection
“What’s weird is that ’Ghostbusters’ has no emotional story. It’s not like Ray and Egon have an issue they’re working out. I think they just seem so real. It’s more like how people react to what’s happening. It’s like their reactions are so genuine that you feel it. That’s how we would react to that situation. They’re scared of the ghost. They’re not marching towards them fearlessly, and that, I think, anchors the whole thing in reality and makes it funny. Literally, the difference between a horror movie and a comedy is negligent. I imagine the shooting of “Insidious” is very similar to how we shot some of our scenes. It’s just you know Craig [Robinson]’s reaction is just slightly funnier than Patrick Wilson’s.”
Don’t Hold Your Breath For A “Superbad” Sequel
“We always just said no. Honestly, I think it’s because how much people liked it. We would just always think like what if they made like a ’Fast Times 2’? I’m not saying ’Superbad’ is as good as ’Fast Times,’ but to a lot of people, it was! Emotional teen sex comedies just don’t often have sequels. It just seems like genre-wise, those rarely work out. Comedy sequels in general are just are almost never good. That’s just something I’m always wary of.
Why Are We Obsessed With Seth And Weed?
“I do understand why people are fascinated. There are very few people who are famous who openly talk about doing something that is technically illegal although should not be by any means. And I get why that’s fascinating to people. Every once in a while, I’m like, ’Yeah, OK, we get it. I smoke weed.’ Years and years ago, when I first moved to LA, I was with a few other actors who don’t want me saying I was with them. One was in ’This Is the End’ and the other is actually in another gigantic summer movie this year. We got caught in Malibu and we got detained and I had to go to court and I ultimately got off with a fine. Don’t smoke weed in Malibu on the beach at 1 in the morning.”
“Over the years, you start to realize most movies suck. There’s this movie called ’The Last Castle’ with Robert Redford. That’s a movie I auditioned for. I remember that everyone was like, ’Oh, this is going to be a big, good movie,’ and then like it literally, like, came and went. And there’s another one called ’Hart’s War’ with Bruce Willis that you were just like, ’Oh this is going to be amazing, an Oscar sweep.’ And now you’re just like, ’What the f— is “Hart’s War”? It’s about what? POWs are putting on a play and then they escape?’ There were tons of movies like that. Honestly, there are almost no movies I auditioned for and didn’t get that actually turned out to be good. I auditioned for the Elijah Wood’s role in ’Eternal Sunshine.’ That might be the only movie, literally in like the decade I auditioned for movies that actually turned out to be a good movie that when I saw it I was like, ’I wish I was in that movie.’ ’The Core’ was not one of those. DJ Qualls got my part.”