In the Future with Seth Rogen


Seth Rogen is known for his hilarious unrehearsed and unpredictable improv tangents that make you laugh so hard you cry, but the comedian admits he may not be so funny in his next film. At the end of the summer, he’ll start shooting the untitled Judd Apatow/Adam Sandler project, in which he plays a young stand-up comic who isn’t the greatest at what he does.

On the set of his new movie, Observe and Report (working title), Rogen talked to about what he has in the works. For new quotes on his adapation of The Green Hornet, click here. Are you going to be hitting comedy clubs this summer preparing for the untitled Judd Apatow movie?
Seth Rogen: I think I’m supposed to. I was just talking to Adam Sandler about that. I saw him over the weekend. We were like, “What the f**k are we going to write jokes about now? Our lives are awesome!” All of my jokes were about not being able to get laid and having no money. Now I have a girlfriend and a good job. I literally don’t know what the f**k to write about. I’ve got all these ‘Hills’ jokes and s**t. I’m like, ‘Is this funny? I’ve got jokes about Spencer. Can I do that? Does anyone give a s**t?’ It’s removed me from my insecure base which is where all of my jokes came from.

CS: The word dramedy has been tossed around with regard to that script. Would you say that’s the correct term?
Rogen: Yeah, it definitely has more dramatic elements than any of the other movies do, but in my head it’s just as funny as the other ones. That term I always found weird. I always thought realistic was a better way to explain things that were dramedies because life is like that. It’s funny, it’s dramatic. To me that how I see it.

CS: Adam Sandler said he’s starting that film in September, so are you going to be rehearsing over the summer?
Rogen: I’m not shooting anything between now and then. I’ve got a lot of f**king “Pineapple Express” promotion to do. Got to smoke weed at the Juno Awards and The Tonys, got to smoke weed at The Blockbuster Awards. I’m just promoting the movie basically and then I start rehearsals I think around mid-August.

CS: What do you know about the next Judd movie?
Rogen: I know everything about it. I’ve read the script and given notes on the script. I’m well versed on the next Judd movie.

CS: What was it about Eric Bana that you thought would make him right for a role in the movie?
Rogen: I actually had nothing to do with the casting. Judd had a lot of strong choices–a lot of strong notions going in. Soon there will be an official release of the entire cast. It has some really cool people in it that I think people will be really excited to see working with us.

CS: Are we going to see a lot of familiar faces too?
Rogen: Yep, you’ll definitely see a lot of familiar faces.

CS: What type of character do you play in it?
Rogen: I play a young struggling stand-up comedy who is not that funny. That’s not too far off.

CS: Does he play in a lesbian bar?
Rogen: No, that’s not in the script actually. We should put that in though. That was the first place I did stand-up.

CS: Is it hard for you not to be funny?
Rogen: No, I don’t know. We are supposed to be writing two types of stand-up jokes. I’m to be writing good ones and not so good ones and I’ve got a s**t load of not so good ones.

CS: You play a young stand-up and Adam Sandler plays another stand-up comedian so does he play a mentor to your character?
Rogen: There maybe a mentor type dynamic there which we’re all very familiar with. Judd, Gary Shandling really mentored him a lot and Judd really mentored me a lot and now I’m kind of helping usher in this new group of guys. I wouldn’t say I’m mentoring them, but whoever kind of gets their foot in the door first kind of opens it for the rest of the group. I’d say that aspect of the story, we all heavily relate to.

CS: Jonah Hill said he was working on a script about you two being brothers.
Rogen: Yeah, that’s something he’s been writing for awhile. I’m not sure if he’s ever finished it. “Middle Brother” or “Middle Child.” Something like that. “Step Brothers” might step on that a little bit. I don’t know how many movies about two curly haired guys [will go over], I would love to do that. I think it’s really funny. I read a draft of it a little while ago, about six months ago maybe and it was really funny. Maybe one day.

CS: Is your character in the Kevin Smith movie better at making a porno than he is in “Knocked Up” making a porn site?
Rogen: Yes! I think he is. It’s way easier to make a porno than a porn web page. I’ll tell you that. Me and you could make a porno in 10 minutes on my iPhone. A web page would probably take one of you guys 10 minutes, for me it would take a while.

CS: Kevin Smith has a very different aesthetic from the Judd Apatow movies, so what was your experience like on that film?
Rogen: He let us improvise to the best that his shooting style will allow. He shoots very specifically because he edits the movies also. Shot for shot, the whole is planned out in his head beforehand so to some degree that limits the amount of improv you have can. You see how we shoot here. They put the cameras on us and we go. With Kevin, it’s much more specifically shot. It’s like, “Well this shot is only good for three words so you can improvise all you want, but only three words are going to be in this shot.” I was proud of him. He let us do a lot of stuff that I never thought he’d let people do. I’ve seen the movie and there is a lot of the improv that we’ve done in the movie and I think it feels maybe more naturalistic than maybe some of his other movies do. That being said, it’s not quite the same universe as what we do here.

Pineapple Express opens August 8, followed by Zack and Miri Make a Porno on October 31. The Judd Apatow comedy is scheduled for July 31, 2009.