Harry Potter And Killing Famous People: Seth Rogen And Evan Goldberg Talk This Is The End

By Eric Eisenberg 2013-04-02 18:46:59discussion comments
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So, is it you and Jay? I mean, would you say that it does kind of does boil down to the two?

Seth Rogen: Well, yeah, I mean the real emotional story of the movie is about how Jay’s my old friend and these other guys are my new friends and they kind of don’t get along too well and I’m kind of stuck in the middle, and I invite Jay to this party at Franco’s house which he doesn’t really want to go to ‘cause he doesn’t like those guys that much and then the apocalypse happens and we’re all stuck together, basically, and we all have to work out this shit that we’ve all been going through.

Evan Goldberg: That being said, if you like Craig or Jonah or Franco or anybody else in the movie, you won’t be disappointed.

Seth Rogen: Oh, yeah, no, I mean and they are in it. They are really part of the other group and it’s really about how the old friends versus the new friends, which we thought was a really relatable place to start with a fucking batshit crazy movie, basically [laughs].

When you are approaching these characters, I mean these are people that you’ve known for years. Are you putting their personalities perfectly up on the screen or kind of a heightened version or completely different?

Evan Goldberg: No, no, no. No one is actually like, exactly the same, but some of them are heightened versions.

Is that just to save your own asses because of what we’re going to see? [laughs]

Evan Goldberg: We came to agreements with them. Some of them have full character takes. Some said, “I just want to play a crazy asshole version of myself.”

Seth Rogen: A lot of these guys are really... we’re all really dumb in the movie is probably the biggest thing. We deal with the apocalypse very poorly, I would say on the grand scale of how a rational human would behave in that situation and I think everyone plays very self-centered kind of temperamental versions of themselves. Honestly, it wasn’t, I don’t think it was about how they were being reflected as themselves. I think, as actors, at first we just wrote a little too much into shit they had all done before, and I think it took some of them being like you know, “I’ve been the loud, obnoxious guy a lot of times. What if we flipped it and I was the super nice guy?” or something like that. That was actually really helpful. I don’t think it was how they wanted to be portrayed as themselves. I think more thought just, as actors, it was a chance to do something else.

Evan Goldberg: Something different.

Seth Rogen: And it was that much funnier because it was as themselves.

And this is the first time you’re directing also, but obviously you’ve collaborated as writers for a long, long time. How much did that collaboration change? Was that collaboration in your writing process similar to how you guys directed together?

Seth Rogen: Yeah, it was exactly the same. Yeah, we’ve worked together so much over the years in so much stuff. Yeah, it was very seamless. There was no real...

Evan Goldberg: We know each other so well we can make assumptions of what the other will do, like one of the things the crew always says is, “If I ask one of you and then you’re not there and the other guy is there, 99% of the time, you’ll say the same exact thing.” So, it lets us move really fast. You don’t have to discuss it.

Seth Rogen: Exactly, yeah.

And did you guys know you were going to end up directing it while you were writing the script?

Seth Rogen: We hoped it, yeah.

Evan Goldberg: Yeah, we hoped it. There was a point when we... And then we eventually realized that no one else could, because to get these guys, the specific group we needed...

Seth Rogen: It wouldn’t have worked...It literally wouldn’t have worked if you weren’t friends with all of them .

When you were writing, did that affect how you were working from a visual standpoint?

Seth Rogen: Yeah. Honestly, it was nice because we always write visual cues into our scripts. They just get ignored a lot - sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, but it was nice writing something knowing it would actually be executed the way we pictured it and so I think we did write a few things a little differently than we would have, because I think we knew... but it was also, normally someone else would take some of our more boring sequences and make them visually interesting, and now we knew that was up to us to do [laughs]. And so I think that played into also it also a little bit.
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