SXSW Interview: Neighbors’ Nicholas Stoller and Evan Goldberg

Judd Apatow and the talent he’s discovered going back to his cult comedy shows “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared” have been behind some of the funniest and raunchiest comedies of the past ten years, which have literally helped to make the R-rated comedy cool again.

Two of the guys involved in this wave are Nicholas Stoller and Evan Goldberg. Although they’ve mostly been working apart until now, they’ve teamed for Neighbors, Seth Rogen’s new comedy which puts him in the role of new father Mac Radner, who is trying to enjoy suburban life with his wife Kelly (Rose Byrne) when a loud frat house moves in next door led by the brash Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron).

Stoller did some writing on “Undeclared” before Apatow produced his first feature film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, written by another Apatow vet Jason Segel. Since then, Stoller has gone on to write and direct the comedies Get Him to the Greek and The Five-Year Engagement, as well as writing both recent “Muppets” movies—the latest which comes out March 21.

Concurrently, Goldberg had already co-written Superbad and The Pineapple Express with Rogen before the duo went on to write and produce a string of comedies that culminated in their joint directorial debut This is the End last year. (And that isn’t the end of their directing careers as they just wrapped their second movie The Interview, which comes out later this year.)

Knowing that they had a very funny movie on their hands–you can read our review here–Universal Pictures brought the movie as a “work in progress” to this year’s SXSW Film Festival, and the morning after it premiered, ComingSoon.net had a chance to sit down with the two guys for the fun discussion you can watch in the video player below.

Some of the things discussed include:

* How they finally collaborated on a project considering how long they’ve known each other
* How it’s a transitional movie for Seth and how their movies reflect what they’re going through
* How funny Rose Byrne is in the movie and how she holds her own against Seth
* Why they decided to keep her Australian accent
* They talk about their own frat house experiences despite neither having been in a frat
* Trying to live up frat house classics like Animal House and Old School
* Casting the babies and how they steal the movie
* We talk about the film’s R-rating and anything that might have been questioned by the MPAA
* and Evan Goldberg talks about the progress on the adaptation of Preacher he and Seth are doing for AMC.

Neighbors opens on May 9 and we’ll probably have more interviews from the movie sometime before then.


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