After years of success writing some of the funniest moves in Hollywood, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg truly stepped up their game in 2013. The duo made their directorial debut with This Is The End, and the apocalyptic comedy was not only a smash hit at the box office, but also won mass critic approval. Now they are back to show that their freshman effort was no fluke, and they’re doing so with a project that is equal parts funny, epic and controversial. In December, audiences worldwide will get to see the new comedy The Interview, but it was around that time last year that I got a special early sneak peek at the film.
Based on a screenplay by Rogen, Goldberg and Dan Sterling, The Interview centers on Dave Skylark (James Franco) and Aaron Rapoport (Rogen), a celebrity talk show host and his producer. Together they are offered a rare and extraordinary opportunity to travel to North Korea and interview dictator Kim Jong-un (Randall Park), as the despot turns out to be a big fan of Skylark’s work. But as though this situation weren’t strange enough, it escalates even further when the CIA gets wind of the trip has asks Dave and Aaron to assassinate their interview subject.
Last winter, I had the pleasure of flying up to Vancouver, British Columbia where I joined a small group of other film journalists to visit the set of the upcoming political comedy - which was actually in its final day of production when we were on site. Both watching some of the filming and interviewing the stars and filmmakers, we learned a number of fascinating facts and heard a bunch of funny behind the scenes stories about the film – all of which I’m very happy I can now share. Read on and enjoy!
Kim Jong-un Really Loves Katy Perry and Margaritas – But That Doesn’t Make Him GayTo call the relationship between Kim Jong-un and David Skylark in The Interview "bizarre" would be a severe understatement. The dictator finds something endlessly charming about the incredibly vapid celebrity journalist, and for whatever reason it leads to him drop his guard and share his deepest, most personal secrets. Like the fact that he really loves Katy Perry’s music
The scene we watched filmed during our day on set was set inside one of Kim-Jong-un’s tanks, which the North Korean leader was taking Skylark for a joy ride in. Messing around with the various buttons and switches, Skylark turns on the stereo – resulting in "Firework" blaring from the speakers. Kim is very embarrassed of this at first, but soon he and the American begin to bond over their mutual love of Perry’s music. It gets even funnier when Kim asks his new friend if liking Katy Perry and margaritas is "gay." Says Skylark, "If the cost for liking margaritas is taking a cock up the ass, bartender, I’ll take two!"
Adding a strange twist to the whole scene is the fact that it’s partially based in truth. As actor Randall Park explained to us, Kim Jong-un was regularly scolded by his father for being too feminine – leaving him with all kinds of insecurities. Given this level of attention by the writers, I’m excited to learn what else The Interview reveals about the North Korean leader.