Seth Rogen has dominated the big-screen for the last couple of years as the laughable stoned slacker whose smartass comments made us love him, but in Warner Bros.’ dark comedy Observe and Report, Rogen takes great delight in playing an unstable mall security guard who unapologetically does shocking and, at times, uncomfortable things audiences have never seem him do before.
Anna Faris plays his so-called love interest in the film. Her character, Brandi, works behind the makeup counter at the mall. She’s an outrageous and sleazy girl, but Rogen’s character is convinced she’s the woman of his dreams and does whatever he has to do to protect her from a flasher that is terrorizing the suburban mall.
ComingSoon.net talked to both Rogen and Faris about the dark comedy, written and directed by Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way):
Q: How did you lose so much weight?
Seth Rogen: Bulimia. It’s great. You eat whatever you want and then you throw it up after. You get all the flavors of delicious food, but none of the negative side affects. I recommend every young girl try it.
Q: What does your girlfriend think of your new look?
Rogen: She thinks my breath smells worse.
Q: Any special technique you use?
Rogen: I drink. Some people go with the finger, but I drink until the point of vomiting that way you get drunk also.
Q: Did you work with a trainer?
Rogen: No, Bulimia came naturally to me. I was just able to accomplish that without any real training. I’m good. I’m naturally Bulimic.
Q: Do you think you’ll stick with this physique?
Rogen: That’s the question. I think we should take a pool like an office pool. We’ll divide up weights into a chart.
Q: What was the chemistry like between you two on set?
Anna Faris: We had a great time.
Rogen: Yeah, luckily our characters aren’t supposed to click that way.
Faris: It was a bunch of dudes hanging out in Albuquerque and I got to pop in and be this awful girl for a while. It was great.
Rogen: It was fun. We lived in the same creepy apartment. It was really weird.
Q: How about that love scene? That was one of the more memorable ones.
Rogen: I think we shot one take of it. As long as it takes to watch is as long as it took to shoot. We did it once and we were like, “Okay guys lets get the f*ck out of here.” I remember everyone couldn’t believe we were done. It was scheduled as the first scene of the day and literally 30 seconds later we were like, “Okay we’re done. Let’s move on.”
Q: Which so-called love scene did you enjoy most? With Seth or Ray Liotta?
Faris: Seth. There’s nothing like straddling Ray Liotta in the back of a car for an hour, but you can’t compare to having Seth Rogen grind on top of you while passed out.
Q: How do you feel about your new sex symbol status?
Rogen: I masturbate to myself everyday. It’s an honor to finally be able to do that.
Q: Are your friends in awe of you doing Playboy?
Rogen: My friends were pretty psyched. They’re a tough group to please and I think I got one in there. I’m always happy to do that.
Q: Was it fun to go so dark with this character?
Rogen: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. A lot of our comedy, I find, isn’t often based on awkward, uncomfortable situations as much as outwardly odd and funny situations, you know? It was fun to kind of work in a different tone – the one we don’t do. And I like it a lot. So yeah, it was a lot of fun to kind of get to be the guy kind of inspiring the awkwardness.
Q: And you got to cry.
Q: A real Oscar moment.
Rogen: Exactly! That will be on my reel. No, it all is funny in my head, and in my head I’m not like, “This is a dramatic moment.” In my head I’m like, “This is the set up to the funny moment that is about to come.” So yeah, I kind of approach it all the same.
Q: What is it about a mall as a setting that makes it ripe for a comedy?
Rogen: I think in general, malls are kind of like a microcosm of the towns that people live in, in a way. Every little thing is represented. There’s the food area I actually don’t think any of this I am just trying to give you an answer! I have no idea.
Q: Anna, is there anyone who you don’t want to see this movie like your parents or your fiancée?
Faris: I feel really happy that I’ve done a pretty good job of breaking in my parents. The first “Scary Movie” I did a pretty good job of that.
Q: So, they are shockproof?
Faris: Well, I am going to have to give them some wine before they go down this road. But I think they love the whole thing anyway. They are very proud and very supportive and I am so lucky to have those kinds of parents. Seth, your parents are kind of the same. We both grew up with…
Rogen: Yeah, I think they are both okay with me. We are Pacific Northwest! They are just happy it’s not raining.
Faris: I think this character is so outrageous and so ridiculous that I would think that you can get away with a lot, and the audience is almost forgiving, I think, of that because she’s hopefully clearly not me! Unless I’m coming off like that now
Rogen: I think it’s because the movie ultimately works. I think that’s why my parents are fine with this, because I’m not humiliating myself for bad movies. They are like, “At least they’re turning out pretty good! The audience seems to be enjoying it.” It would be one thing if I am date-raping her, and there is no laughter at all. The fact that he gets some big laughs kind of makes it all okay!
Q: Was it intimidating to do a fight scene with Ray Liotta?
Rogen: It was a little bit. I was actually a little scared. Ray told me he’s never been in a real fight in his whole life though. Isn’t that disappointing? He’s pistol whipped a couple guys, but never a fight as he would call it.
Q: You and James Franco were the best thing on the Oscars. Was there anything they did not want you to do?
Rogen: No, actually, they let us do pretty much what we wanted. We’ve got to be shocking. I made a joke about making a bong out of an Oscar! I can’t believe they let us! I said that on television. That was pretty impressive to me. They let us get away with a lot.
Q: Seth, is it different for you when you do the writing and have a sense of who the character is as opposed to when you are a hired actor?
Rogen: I would say it is a lot easier to just be an actor in a movie and not have to be the producer and writer as well. I would only do the movie with someone that I trust and once you trust someone you hand yourself over to them and do your thing. I’m just one of the actors really. Every time there was a conversation on set with Jody and the producers in an intense conversation I was like, “F*ck, I’m so glad I’m not in that conversation.” Normally I would have to be one of those guys and then I would have to go act in the scene also. Now I just go back to my trailer and watch movies for an hour and they have to deal with whatever that sh*t’s about. It was actually a lot easier. I enjoyed it a lot. It was a lot less stressful on a day to day basis. I didn’t have to worry about any of that stuff.
Q: Did you keep your uniform from this film?
Rogen: No, I kept my badge.
Q: Can you quickly say what you find funny about each other?
Rogen: Anna is just one of the funniest people I’ve gotten to work with in my whole life. She’s amazing.
Faris: For a girl.
Rogen: No, not for a girl at all just as a person. Not for a girl. [laughs]
Faris: I think that moment right there. Seth laughs all the time. He’s just as easy going off camera as he is on camera and it puts everyone at ease. He’s such a smart guy.
Rogen: And I don’t rape real people in real life. Usually [laughs].
Observe and Report hits theaters on Friday, April 10.