Roundtable Interview With Seth Rogen And Evan Goldberg On This Is The End

thisistheend

Can you expand upon the dynamic of you guys working together as directors with these other actors who are your friends, because at some point you’d have to kind of play the “adult” in the room, right?

Evan Goldberg: Ya, that would usually be Seth because he’s in the middle of it with the guys. I’d be over at the monitor screaming “guys come on, get your f**king s**t together” and they can’t even hear me. But Seth is right in the room and he’s just like “settle.”

Seth Rogen: And I was like to the guys, “settle is code for shut the f**k up and start acting.” [laughs] I was very upfront with that. They’re all professionals though, so it didn’t matter. You don’t want to be the last one to set either so when one guy gets up, all the other guys scramble to get there. If you are the last guy, five of your peers are going to make fun of you. And then in the scene they will say terrible things about you. Overall though everyone was pretty well behaved.

Is there anything fundamentally Canadian Jew-y about this movie?

Seth Rogen: It’s pretty self-deprecating. [laughs]

Evan Goldberg: Canadians have a great sense of humor, and it’s because they are willing to self-deprecate. And no one self-deprecates like the Jews.

For the party scene, how did you decide on who you wanted to cameo and is there anyone that you wanted to cameo but didn’t?

Evan Goldberg: Ya. I mean, we wanted Elizabeth Banks, Ed Norton, there were a few others. When it came to casting the parts, we kind of wrote up different bits and talked to the various celebrities we casted and asked them which bit they wanted to do.

Seth Rogen: We wanted it to feel organic, like a real party. At a real party, there are generally some people who you’re just like “why are they here?”

Evan Goldberg: Seth had a Halloween party last year and Quentin Tarantino showed up.

Seth Rogen: [laughs] Ya and David O. Russell was there and I’m just like “who invited these guys?” I’ve never even met these people. So we just wanted to add that element to the film. Where it feels organic and real but at the same time there’s a few curve balls in there. We wanted to keep it young though. Even though in reality, fifty year old dudes show up to your parties. But we wanted to make it feel like people were getting a glimpse inside what one of these parties is like.

Did you write a lot of jokes in the script or did most of it come from improv?

Seth Rogen: Some of them were in the script.

Evan Goldberg: Ya, we got the ball rolling in the script and then really let the actors kind of take it further.

Seth Rogen: I think if anything, the guys were more antagonistic with each other than we wanted. We’d often have to stop Jonah and Franco from going at each other. We’d be like “you guys like each other in this movie. We get it. You can make Moneyball jokes all day but in this movie, your characters wouldn’t be doing that.” [laughs] People would just get wrapped up in the joy of being able to slam your friends’ movies.

So who had the thickest skin then?

Seth Rogen: Definitely Franco.

Evan Goldberg: His skin is infinite thickness. There’s nothing that can get to him.

Seth Rogen: The more you think that something will insult him, the more entertained he is.

Evan Goldberg: I went up to him and was like “I want to do an art project with you about how stupid your art projects are” and he was like “Great, I love it!” You just can’t phase the guy.

James Franco has taken off as a thing unto itself. How do you feel about it?

Evan Goldberg: I think it’s the awesomest, craziest thing that anyone’s ever done. His whole shtick is the most amusing thing ever. I love it.

Seth Rogen: I think it’s awesome. He really seems to be in control of it and people seem to be fascinated by it.

Evan Goldberg: He doesn’t seem to be propelled by some deep need for something either. He just is having a good time.

Seth Rogen: He genuinely loves this stuff. He actually thinks it’s interesting. If anything, he’s actually embarrassed to talk about it. Whenever I ask him about it he’s like “Nah you guys are just going to make fun of it” and he starts to blush. [laughs] He’d be like “it’s stupid, it’s just this weird project where it’s a film of me shi**ing on a guy.” [laughs] He’s genuinely into it though, he really is into that art stuff and he’s been into it for a while. I met him when I was 16 years old and he was into it back then. I have a painting that he painted for me in 1998. He’s been into it forever. It’s not like a new thing for him. Just now as he’s more famous he gets more attention.

Evan Goldberg: If he hadn’t become famous then nothing would be different, except the amount of money he’d have towards these projects.

Seth Rogen: Exactly. It’s always been stuff that he’s been doing. When you’re friends with him it doesn’t seem that weird either. If anything, it’s entertaining how it’s perceived. The fact that people think it’s so weird is weird.

Evan Goldberg: And what people don’t know is that there’s a secret third Franco, who is older than James and Dave, and he’s a sculptor. So he is an artist, so it runs in the family.

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