Seth Rogen stars in another summer comedy, "This Is the End"
He co-wrote and co-directed the June 12 release as well
Rogen said it was important to keep the comedy rooted in reality
Don’t miss CNN’s “Summer Movie Special” at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday.
Summer movie season is Seth Rogen’s prime time.
Over the past eight years, the writer/actor’s been a major player in some of the season’s biggest comedies, including 2005’s “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” 2007’s “Knocked Up” and “Superbad,” and 2008’s “Pineapple Express.”
This year, Rogen is poised to continue his summer streak when “This Is the End” opens June 12. The comedy, which Rogen co-wrote and co-directed with Evan Goldberg, boasts a long list of A-list names, including some of Rogen’s regular co-stars like James Franco, Jay Baruchel and Jonah Hill.
As the trailer humorously illustrates, the plot is basically this: Rogen brings his old friend Baruchel (“Knocked Up”; “She’s Out of My League”) along to a “giant party” at Franco’s home, where the likes of Mindy Kaling, Jason Segel, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Rihanna and Michael Cera have gathered.
Suddenly, in the middle of the revelry, the partygoers step outside to find a world in the midst of an apocalypse. Mayhem ensues, leaving Rogen’s team to their own devices in order to make it out alive. (At one point, the terror even includes an ax-wielding Emma Watson.)
The conceit is that all of the stars are portraying “themselves” in the flick, either playing up the public’s perceptions about them or playing against type.
“We wanted (’This Is the End’) to feel very real,” Rogen said. “We liked the idea of us playing ourselves, because we thought it’s cool if the movie really takes place in the same world that the viewers of the movie live in. There’s no separation between your world as the audience and our world as the people in the movie.”
But overall, especially for the main six at the center of the story – Rogen, Franco, Hill, Baruchel, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride – “no one’s anything like how they are in the movie in real life,” Rogen said. “They’re all very nice, sweet people. In the movie, they’re all idiots.”
By now an old pro at writing comedies, Rogen feels confident that he and Goldberg have crafted at least an entertaining film.
“I don’t know if it will be successful or not, but I’m very proud of it. I think it’s funny,” Rogen said. “I watched it with a lot of movie theaters full of people, and they genuinely seemed to really really get a kick out of it. It played as well as any of our movies, so I’m like out of the woods in my head. Whether or not it makes a ton of money, that’s honestly out of my hands completely, so I just focus on what I can control.”
The actor, writer and now first-time director has come a long way since his high school days, when he dropped out to pursue his career.
“I think I was fortunate in that I knew what I wanted to do, and no one has to give you permission,” Rogen said. “Like, you can just do comedy. No one has to give you permission to write a movie. If you have a computer, you can just write a movie.”
He was also lucky to have parents who supported his decision and ambitions, driving him to comedy shows and encouraging him to write.
“I worked really hard. It’s not like I dropped out of high school and just did nothing,” Rogen said. “I dropped out of high school and went and worked on a TV show. We were writing a script all throughout high school. I probably worked harder than most people who were just doing high school stuff, honestly. I did stand-up comedy all throughout high school. I think, honestly, if you have a career in mind that isn’t academically oriented, then high school is probably not going to lead you to what you want to be.”
CNN’s Nischelle Turner contributed to this report.