Seth Rogan & Pineapple Express Interview

Seth Rogan & Pineapple Express Interview


EXCLUSIVE Comic Con Seth Rogan, Pineapple Express Interview by Paul Fischer.

Seth Rogan is right at his element in the thick of Comic Con. A com,ic book aficionado from way back, he is using the opportunities promoting both Pineapple Express and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, to walk the floors of San Diego's Convention Centre. But in between buying comics and games, he did spend some time talking to Paul Fischer on a celebrity-laden balcony above the crazed fan action that remain Comic Con.

Paul Fischer: Your career has really taken off in leaps and bounds in a very, very short period of time, relatively speaking. How surprised are you by that?

Seth Rogan: It's pretty shocking. It's weird. Yeah, it happened very suddenly, with Knocked Up. I mean, I didn't realize that that was how it worked. It's interesting and it's crazy. I mean, I guess I saw it happen with Steve in 40 Year Old Virgin a little bit, but I didn't think that would necessarily happen to me, the same thing. It kind of did and it's really strange.

Paul Fischer: You obviously don't take all of it too seriously.

Seth Rogan: Yeah.

Paul Fischer: Where does that come from?

Seth Rogan: I mean, I don't know, what's to take seriously about it? It's just a silly job, you know? We're not saving lives or anything. So I mean, yeah. There's nothing serious about it at all. We make movies.

Paul Fischer: When you were writing Pineapple Express, what was the germ of that idea? Why did you decide this would be kind of -

Seth Rogan: Judd had the idea initially, just in the simplest sense of the word, for a weed action movie. That was kind of his idea. It was a weed action movie. And me and Evan are from Vancouver, we smoked a lotta weed growing up and we realized that there really hadn't been a movie that kind of expressed our experiences with weed, just kind of the day to day life of a guy who smokes a lot of weed and not broad or surreal, just kind of what potheads are like and the relationships between the potheads and the people who sell the weed, and how all that works. And we thought, "Well, that could be a funny movie, to do all that." We also felt like if we could do that, and have a good emotional story in the midst of all that, and have it function as an actual movie, then that would be what I want to go see and that would be perfect.

Paul Fischer: Did you expect to be doing action in a movie like this? Did you write it with that in mind?

Seth Rogan: Oh, yeah. We wrote tons of action. To us, that was really important. There were a lot of conversations about how we wanted it to be violent, and we wanted it to be exciting. That was the whole kind of joke of the movie, was that it becomes like a real action movie. And yeah, we were very clear that it needed to function really as an action movie.

Paul Fischer: As a writer, is it a challenge to strike a balance between action, physical comedy, and comedy that comes out of these characters?

Seth Rogan: No, I guess just because maybe I grew up watching so many movies like that. Action movies, action comedies. To me, it comes pretty naturally, I think. I mean, it's just - it's hard to write a movie where people aren't punching each other in the face, now. [LAUGHTER]

Paul Fischer: Why were you the natural choice to take on The Green Hornet, do you think?

Seth Rogan: I don't think I was, by any means, but in the same regard, you know, David was not the natural choice to direct this movie and Christopher Nolan was not the natural choice to make Batman. I think unexpected choices are what makes these things interesting, and yeah. I mean, I'm a big fan of the genre.Green Hornet, specifically, is a hero-sidekick story and me and Evan, I feel like, are good at these relationship stories between two adult males [LAUGHTER], kind of trying to work out their issues with one another. So we just thought that could be a great way to do it.

Paul Fischer: Are you putting a lot of humor into it? Is your own sense of humor going to be inherent in this piece?

Seth Rogan: I mean, yeah. We wanted it to seem very real. We don't want to prevent the characters from being funny. The relationships and dynamics we've set up - to us, humor is naturally where we come from. But at the same time, we want the action to be really exciting. If you aren't laughing, we don't want the movie to be failing. Just, it's in a different mode at that point.

Paul Fischer: How faithful is it to the source material?

Seth Rogan: It's pretty faithful. I would say - you know, it's not quite as straightforward as the source is. I mean, if you really analyze the show, there's really not a whole lot there, to be perfectly honest. It never really explains why he's called The Green Hornet, where that came from. It never really goes into detail about how they met. It doesn't go into that much detail about how the real dynamic of their relationship works. I mean, there's just - there's not a lot of details. It was only one on season. The comic books have a very odd take on it. The radio play, again, is very straightforward. And we realized if we just did the straightforward version of a rich guy who at night drives his crazy car and fights crime, that's Batman. They've done that, you know? So we kind of had to think, "What haven't they done with these movies? What's the direction that they haven't been taken in, well?" And we thought maybe the kind of action comedy world is somewhere that we can take these things.

Paul Fischer: I was very disappointed that Kevin's movie was given an official NC-17 rating.

Seth Rogan: I think they're gonna battle that. But it's pretty crazy that that happened, yeah.

Paul Fischer: What does it say about the state of American film, that they can get away with violence, and yet sex is still a puritanical -

Seth Rogan: Yeah. It's crazy to me, man. I really don't get it. It's funny, because I was just in Canada last week. And all the movies were rated totally different stuff. Like, Superbad I don't even think is rated R there, because it's just sex, and there's no violence. And they do it the exact opposite, you know? Yeah, it's crazy. You know, Pineapple Express, we sell drugs to 11-year-olds, we kill people. No one had a problem with that. But, you know, hey, it's the same rating. But, you show people having sex, and that's completely unacceptable. It's a very strange double standard.

Paul Fischer: You mentioned a number of times you're going to take a break. You've been really doing one film after the other, as an actor.

Seth Rogan: Yeah.

Paul Fischer: What are you planning on doing during your break?

Seth Rogan: Absolutely nothing. Just hanging out, and reading comic books, watching TV, and hanging out with my friends.

Paul Fischer: Basically the same kinds of things you do as the characters you play.

Seth Rogan: Yes, exactly. I just want to live my life, man. [LAUGHTER]

Paul Fischer: Is there a property or a project, or something that you really have a burning desire to do? What about directing? I assume you're almost on the way to becoming a director.

Seth Rogan: As long as we can keep getting really talented directors to do our movies, it doesn't seem like there's any reason for us to do it. I mean, we like it when people can bring new things to the table. We don't have a crystal clear vision. You know, we're very open and collaborative. So to us, it's great to have a guy like David come in and give new ideas. Or a guy like Greg. So, directing is actually something that we're not that interested in right now, just because we've been able to work with great directors.

Paul Fischer: Was acting something you aspired to when you were growing up? Or was it more being creative?

Seth Rogan: It was more writing. I'd started doing stand-up comedy, but mostly just because I enjoyed writing the jokes. I like performing, also, but that was almost secondary to the writing of the material. Yeah, I really just fell into acting. I never thought it would be an actor. It's weird.

Paul Fischer: And of course you're acting in The Green Hornet?

Seth Rogan: Yeah. I'm gonna be The Green Hornet.

Paul Fischer: So you'll be taking on a pretty responsible character.

Seth Rogan: I guess so. Not that many people like The Green Hornet. [LAUGHTER] Some do. But, I mean, it's not like Spider-Man.

Paul Fischer: Are you going to go check out the comic book stuff on the floor?

Seth Rogan: Yeah. I've been down a couple times already.

Paul Fischer: Do you get mobbed when you're down there? Do people sort of know who they are?

Seth Rogan: They do. Some people notice. I kind of punch `em in the face if they get too close to me. [LAUGHTER] I just swing. I swing away. [LAUGHTER]

Paul Fischer: Have you bought anything?

Seth Rogan: I have. I bought tons of stuff.

Paul Fischer: Will it make your girlfriend very happy?

Seth Rogan: No, it'll probably make her upset, it's going to just clutter our house. My stupid toys, and stuff like that. [LAUGHTER]

Paul Fischer: Well, it's good being a geek, though. Have you always been a bit of a geek?

Seth Rogan: I have always read comic books and that kind of thing. Never got into girls or anything like that. So, yeah. That's pretty much the requisite, I think.

Paul Fischer: I presume you've seen The Dark Knight.

Seth Rogan: I have.

Paul Fischer: And what is your unbiased opinion?

Seth Rogan: I really liked it. I thought it was really good. It wasn't like, when I went - when I was walking into the theatre, I was like, "There's a chance this might be, like, my favorite movie of all time." And it was not my favorite movie of all time. But I really liked it.

Paul Fischer: What did you think of Heath's performance?

Seth Rogan: I thought he was great. He was scary. I thought it was awesome. It was a cool take on it.

Paul Fischer: What is your favorite movie of all time?

Seth Rogan: That's a good question. I don't know. I really like The Big Lebowski, but I really like Total Recall. I love that movie

Paul Fischer: How's Zack and Miri Make a Porno coming along?

Seth Rogan: It's great, I think. It's really, really funny. It plays great. I saw it in a theatre with an audience. And yeah, it was a lot of fun. It was awesome.

Paul Fischer: And you didn't have to do any research.

Seth Rogan: No, none for that one. Yeah, it'd be nice if Kevin gets a giant commercial hit on his hands, jjust for him, more than anything.

Paul Fischer: He hasn't had one for a while.

Seth Rogan: No, I didn't even really realize - it's funny, when I started doing the movie, I finally box-office-mojo'd Kevin. I was like, "Wow, none of these have made more than $40 million." I didn't really know that. I just assumed what I love is successful, for my own egotistical reasons. But - yeah, it'd be great if one of them can kind of break through, and he can reach a really - I feel like he has a wide audience. Everyone I know knows who Kevin Smith is.

Paul Fischer: Yeah. He's very iconic, too.

Seth Rogan: Yeah, exactly. But it'd be nice if in the theatre, it could happen.

Pineapple Express

Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Amber Heard, Danny McBride, Gary Cole
Director: David Gordon Green
Screenwriter: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Producer: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson
Genre: Comedies
Rated: R for pervasive language, drug use, sexual references and violence
Runtime: 1 hr 51 mins

Next summer, the guys who brought you Superbad reunite for the action-comedy Pineapple Express. Lazy stoner Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) has only one reason to visit his equally lazy dealer Saul Silver (James Franco): to purchase weed, specifically, a rare new strain called Pineapple Express. ... Next summer, the guys who brought you Superbad reunite for the action-comedy Pineapple Express. Lazy stoner Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) has only one reason to visit his equally lazy dealer Saul Silver (James Franco): to purchase weed, specifically, a rare new strain called Pineapple Express. But when Dale becomes the only witness to a murder by a crooked cop (Rosie Perez) and the city's most dangerous drug lord (Gary Cole), he panics and dumps his roach of Pineapple Express at the scene. Dale now has another reason to visit Saul: to find out if the weed is so rare that it can be traced back to him. And it is. As Dale and Saul run for their lives, they quickly discover that they're not suffering from weed-fueled paranoia; incredibly, the bad guys really are hot on their trail and trying to figure out the fastest way to kill them both. All aboard the Pineapple Express.

The film is directed by David Gordon Green (All the Real Girls). The screenplay is by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg from a story by Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg. Judd Apatow and Shauna Robertson produce.