Seth Rogen thinks there are probably only two men who work harder than him in Hollywood, and he inherited own his work ethic from both of them.
“Sacha Baron Cohen, Judd Apatow, they work as hard as me, but I probably work harder than most people I encounter in Hollywood,” he tells HuffPostUK. “I worked for them from a young age, so I probably developed a work ethic from them in a lot of ways."
Seth Rogen reveals he turned his life around when he realised he wasn't getting the gigs
“We literally have a job that 2 billion people are competing for and 10 people get to have. From a very young age I can remember being frustrated about how my career was going, and then sitting down and asking myself,
‘Am I working as hard as all the other people that are competing for the jobs I’m going for?’ and the answer was no. That was a turning point.
"We started working on 'Superbad' more, and I started doing anything anyone asked me to do, pretty much, and for me it was the only way to truly remain bitter,” Rogen starts to chuckle his unique film-defining laugh… “I wanted to work really hard and still fail. I wanted to earn real bitterness.”
Rogen is back at work this week, in ‘This Is The End’ – a film he’s written and directed with Evan Goldberg, his long-time collaborative partner and school friend from the age of 12.
'This is the End', just your typical apocalypse blockbuster played for laughs, is set in the full swing of a Hollywood party in James Franco’s house, with James Franco played by… James Franco. Similarly, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, our own Emma Watson, all play extreme versions of themselves, with even Rihanna turning up for a quick turn at the beginning.
Did their mates coming on board make for an easier experience or more self-conscious? Rogen says definitely the former…
“The most toxic thing about a movie-making process is a lack of trust, and a self-consciousness, which we had much less of because we were friends with these guys.
For 'This Is The End', Seth Rogen and co-writer Evan Goldberg looked to their usual crowd “You don’t have to convince them to do and say terrible things, you get to skip that half-hour conversation. They just do it, because they know we’ll deal with it in a way that won’t make them look stupid. So they’re willing to do a lot more, and we’re willing to ask them a lot more.”
Even with pals on board, Rogen has still set himself the challenge of making the end of world something to
scream, and laugh at in equal measure, no small feat, apparently…
“You can just be funny on TV and it’s fine, but for a good film you need a journey,” says the veteran of ‘Superbad’, ‘Knocked Up’, ‘Pineapple Express’ and more.
“You need characters, an actual emotional thing that’s real for it to function. You have to hold it to the same standard as you would a dramatic film, which is why comedies are definitely harder to make.”
He revs himself up. “That’s a definitive truth. There is no argument against that I could imagine ever being swayed upon.”
This week it's the apocalypse. Before that it was cancer (‘50/50’). Is there any subject he and Goldberg wouldn’t dare to go? He hmmms and shakes his head…
“There’s no idea I wouldn’t take a pitch on. It might be hard to make a Holocaust comedy, I’m not sure I would do that at this point.
“But with 50/50, we learned that you can make a comedy about anything and still deal with it in a sensitive way. You don’t need to make fun of something in order to be funny.”
'This Is The End' opens in UK cinemas on Friday 28 June. Watch the trailer below...