By Jessica Jardine; photos by Suzanne Hanover, courtesy Columbia Pictures on June 17, 2013
Seth Rogen’s rollicking, eruptive laugh is a deceptive thing. It might fool you into thinking the curly-haired Canadian is just a laid-back goof who has stumbled into an enviable Hollywood career, acting in blockbusters alongside jaw-droppingly beautiful leading ladies and his hilarious best buds. But that guffaw belies a very real savvy that has allowed the 31-year-old to navigate his path from ensemble member on Judd Apatow’s prized TV classic Freaks and Geeks to one of Tinseltown’s most influential and recognizable power players. Rogen has starred in A-list comedies like Knocked Up and Funny People, written soon-to-be classics like Superbad and Pineapple Express, lent his voice to box-office smashes like Kung Fu Panda and Monsters Vs. Aliens and watched his peer group similarly evolve from a ragtag cluster to standalone superstars.
As the “Apatow Gang” has turned from 20somethings to 30somethings—gathering some Oscar nominations along the way—Rogen has remained one of the most visible faces of them all. It makes sense, then, that he and his longtime writing and producing partner, Evan Goldberg, would be the driving force behind getting the band back together. This Is the End was written and directed by Rogen and Goldberg, marking the first time the duo has stepped behind the camera. Based on a short originally titled Jay and Seth Vs. the Apocalypse, Rogen leads a cast of pals including Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel and Craig Robinson as they play themselves trapped in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. The world begins crumbling around them during a party at James Franco’s house, where celebrities like Rihanna and Emma Watson make cameos, also as themselves. Holding the mirror up to nature, natch.
Here, Rogen talks to FILTER about directing that fireball-and-sinkhole-strewn insanity, what it’s like to write 500 jokes for Borat and what role he’s coveted most in his career.
This article is from FILTER Issue 52