Q&A: Rogen enjoys making people squirm in "Observe"

Thu Apr 9, 2009 12:56am EDT
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By Daniel Carlson

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - On the big screen, Seth Rogen is more often than not a crass stoner with a heart. But the actor-writer is in the process of transforming that image with such roles as an unhinged security guard in "Observe and Report," which opens Friday, and a bona fide superhero in Michel Gondry's forthcoming "The Green Hornet."

He also plans to star in and produce (with childhood pal Evan Goldberg) the comedy-drama "I'm With Cancer" (written by friend Will Reiser), and hopes to segue from that project to "Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse" opposite Jay Baruchel.

The Hollywood Reporter: There's typically an underlying sweetness to the characters you play. What was it like playing a guy with no core of goodness in "Observe and Report"?

Seth Rogen: It was fun to be the guy that was causing the discomfort, you know? I think generally my characters are the guy commenting on the discomfort, or defusing the discomfort.

THR: How was it different working on a non-Judd Apatow project?

Rogen: It's always exciting to work with new people, kind of get new experiences, to see how other people do it. I think that makes you a better moviemaker, ultimately, to work with as many different people as you can. There's definitely a comfort level I have with Judd -- kind of a shorthand, if you will -- but I enjoy working with other people still. I'm sure he gets sick of me, too.

THR: What's the stress level shooting something like "Observe" versus something you had a hand in writing?

Rogen: It's way easier. I spent a lot of time in my trailer just watching movies and s--- like that. Every once in awhile I'd see (producer) Donald (De Line) and (writer-director) Jody (Hill) in these intense discussions, and I'd be like, "Man, normally I'd be one of the guys in that discussion. Now I can go watch 'The Number 23' in my trailer."   Continued...

<p>Seth Rogen attends the premiere of the film "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" in Los Angeles October 20, 2008. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>