Ro­gen en­joys hav­ing power over life and death

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES - – CARIS BIZZACA

SETH Ro­gen found it pretty easy to choose which of his friends would live and die in This Is The End. The Knocked Up star got to play God in the celeb­packed apoc­a­lyp­tic film, which he co-wrote and di­rected with child­hood friend Evan Gold­berg. Ro­gen jokes they had a sys­tem for de­cid­ing who would cark it. ‘‘It’s all based on who we like and in what or­der. So you can see, this is the or­der we hate them,’’ he says, launch­ing into his sig­na­ture laugh. ‘‘We should have opened it up to bribery, hon­estly.’’ Mak­ing their di­rec­to­rial de­but, it only seemed log­i­cal Ro­gen and Gold­berg, the writ­ers be­hind Su­per­bad and Pineap­ple Ex­press, would turn to their friends to fill out the cast. As a re­sult, Ro­gen, James Franco, Jonah Hill and a host of other celebri­ties star as ex­ag­ger­ated, douchey ver­sions of them­selves, who try to sur­vive the apoc­a­lypse when it hits dur­ing a party at Franco’s. They made the film in three dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods over a ‘‘three month chunk’’ where peo­ple could show up and die. But Ro­gen says even that didn’t work for some. ‘‘Paul Rudd re­ally only had one day, so he ac­tu­ally doesn’t even die, he just runs away,’’ he says. In con­vinc­ing popstar Rihanna to sign on, they promised her a good death. ‘‘We told her she was go­ing to fall in a hole and die and she was happy to oblige,’’ Ro­gen says, adding Rihanna was also game when it came to hit­ting a co­caine-snort­ing, wom­an­is­ing Michael Cera across the face. ‘‘She gave it to him good,’’ he says. ‘‘(Cera) asked her if she would let him smack her on the butt for real and she said, ‘yeah, as long as I can slap you in the face for real’.’’ This Is The End came about as an eight-minute short back in 2007. It was so bad, says Rogan, it was cut to a 90-sec­ond trailer (which you can still find on YouTube). ‘‘It kind of sucked,’’ Ro­gen says. ‘‘It’ll be in the Blu-ray.’’ But the trailer drew at­ten­tion. They re­alised they could make it a movie by com­bin­ing it with an­other idea – for a disas­ter movie where celebri­ties would play them­selves. Rogan, raised on a diet of apoc­a­lyp­tic movies, had fun tack­ling the genre in their own way. His favourites grow­ing up? ‘‘Ev­ery­thing Roland Em­merich has ever made,’’ he says re­fer­ring to the In­de­pen­dence Day, Godzilla and The Day Af­ter To­mor­row di­rec­tor. ‘‘He’s ended the world like 15 times. It’s pretty im­pres­sive.’’

This Is the End opens to­day.

James Franco and Seth Ro­gen

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