Rogen enjoys having power over life and death
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