Interview: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, and Craig Robinson of 'This is the End'
Three comedians, four horsemen, seven deadly sins, one strange interview ...
Sitting down on a soundstage at Sony pictures at 10 in the morning to talk with Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and Craig Robinson about their end-of-the-world comedy "This is he End," you cannot help but get the feeling that this is, in fact, the earliest the three actors have been up in a while. With all the actors playing exaggerated versions of themselves, the film depicts what happens when a house party at James Franco's becomes a last stand, as the biblical rapture happens -- with fire and brimstone, chaos and comedy, dogs and cats, living together -- leaving Rogen, Robinson, Baruchel, their reluctant host Franco, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride to face the end of days with minimal supplies and even less intellectual and moral preparedness. We spoke with Rogen, Baruchel and Robinson about comedy, the four horsemen, the seven deadly sins, the end of the world and about playing a version of yourself, but in italics ...
MSN Movies: This started as a short film that you two gentlemen (Rogen and Baruchel) did over the course of two days. Did you approach the studio and say, "We need more money for more swearing and shouting," or did they approach you and say, "We really like funding swearing and shouting"?
Craig Robinson: (Laughs)
Seth Rogen: (Laughs) The first one. We went to the studio and said we want more money for more swearing and shouting, and they eventually said yes.
All the characters in this are you gentlemen, but the sort of italicized versions of you. Mr. Robinson, is it fun to do like the walking beach caricature of yourself with certain things exaggerated?
Robinson: Yeah, it's fun 'cause you can't many any mistakes when you're playing yourself. You just kind of go for it, and if you do make a mistake like, "Hey, that's how I talk."
Jay Baruchel: (Laughs) "That's what I would do so..."
Robinson: "That's what Craig Robinson does. I just did it, didn't I?"
At no point can your directors say, "No, I don’t believe that you are you." You kind of win that argument every time?
Robinson: I win it every time.
Well played sir, well played. Mr. Franco is of course not here, but in the film you're all trapped in his house for the end of the world. Have you actually been in Mr. Franco's home? And is he an adequate host, or does he just not put out enough snacks?
Is he that guy?
Rogen: I’ve never been to any of Franco’s residences ever in my life. You guys?
Baruchel: No, no. He might live in a bubble for all I know.
Robinson: I've camped out a couple times, but I haven’t been inside.
You’ve like just camped out on the lawn? Set up a tent?
Robinson: Yes, just outside the lawn.
Baruchel: He has a bunch of hot air balloons. He goes in each one for days at a time.
Really? He just floats around?
Baruchel: Yeah. Different ones...
Rogen: It's the Emerald City. Disney made him move to the Emerald City.
Baruchel: Which is Detroit, actually.
In the film a lot of the traditional Judeo-Christian apocalypse comes up, and I’m curious can you gentlemen in fact name the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Baruchel: Oh, gosh.
Rogen: Should be. (Laughs)
Well, look. I don't write these things, Mr. Rogen ...
Baruchel: Should be.
Mr. Robinson, we’ve got famine…
We’ve got pestilence.
Rogen: Famine is hunger. Thirst?
Robinson: No, that’s the same thing.
Hankering for the flavor of a Pringles…?
Rogen:'Jonesin''? Is 'jonesin'' one of the four?
'Jonesin'' is not one of war, famine, death, and pestilence.
Baruchel: War and death. See, that’s a good one.
Doesn’t it feel like death should be senior management?
Rogen: Really, you just need death. You don’t need war.
Yeah, the other three guys are just…
Robinson: The other horsemen, they're a little redundant.
Rogen: Death could do the rest.
Baruchel: Lazy work in that Bible. Lazy writing.
The seven deadly sins, do you recall those?
Baruchel: Yes, easy.
Rogen: There’s one more. The one with the nose, where she cuts the nose off.
Baruchel: Sloth? I said that already.
You said sloth.
I love that your (guide) is David Fincher’s "Seven," 'where she cuts her nose off.'
Rogen: Oh yeah, that’s the only way I know.
That would be lust.
I think it’s ironic that you three…
Rogen: The dude with the (redacted) with the knife on the end.
Baruchel: Yes. That’s right yeah.
That’s tremendous you brought that up.
Baruchel: We don't think ...we don't see lust as a sin.
Rogen: (Laughs) That was the one part of the movie. I was like, "This guy really deserves this."
Baruchel: (Laughs) The other guy with the bowl of spaghetti, he deserved it.
Is it fair to say that if we were actually in a home right now and not a prop like this coffee table would be a lot filthier, more snacks, more of what's euphemistically called paraphernalia?
Baruchel: (Laughs) Yeah. Definitely at my house, yeah.
Some more water rings. What do we need to make this coffee table more...?
Rogen: It's too high.
Baruchel: Yeah, it's way too high up.
Baruchel: Put a bunch of dirty, old receipts and...
Rogen: A light layer of ash over the entire thing probably.
Robinson: Empty Coke cans.
Empty Coke cans and empty Coke ... packages.
Mr. Robinson, you walk around in the film with this great towel monogrammed "Mr. Robinson." First of all, do you actually own those?
Robinson: Yes. When I went to our fitting, I had one of my towels that was monogrammed.
Rogen: He's always had a towel.
Robinson: I always have a towel with me 'cause I'm either sweating or about to sweat. So yeah, I went and then the costume designer was like, "We've got to do this towel." I was like, "Okay. Let's make it happen."
Have you thought about selling those? Or would it be weird to sell them to people who are not in fact named Robinson? There would be a small market...
Rogen: There's a lot of Robinsons out there.
Robinson: There's a lot of Robinsons, and I think if people would go buy a shirt with my face on it then...
Rogen: People buy a shirt that say other people's name on them all the time -- Ralph Laur-en, Donna Kar-en...
Mr. Robin-sen ... your song "Take Your Panties Off" is on the soundtrack.
Robinson: 'Take Yo Panties Off.'
"Take Yo Panties Off." Sorry, as a Canadian, I have a problem with contractions.
Robinson: (Sings) 'Take yo panties off ...'
That's on the soundtrack.
Is that exciting for you to released on an album that is sure to sell...
Robinson: It's very exciting. It's very exciting to go in and work with Snoop Lion. He is quite the leader, very wise, and it was...
Rogen: Like a lion.
Robinson: ...awesome just to be a part of it.
Have you heard that he's actually working on being Snoop Lion King?
Robinson: I did not hear that part but that sounds...
That's completely untrue.
Robinson: That sounds right.
Really briefly, what is each of your...
Rogen: You're Snoop Lyin'.
Baruchel: Oh my God.
Each of you, what your favorite end of the world film?
Rogen: Other than "This Is The End"?
Of course other than "This Is The End."
We set that in the canon ...
Yes, but ...
Rogen: We're putting the semen in seminal with this one.
Rogen: ... which he's also in.
Mr. Baruchel, your favorite end of the world movie?
Baruchel: Well, I'll go post ... can I go post end of the world?
Baruchel: "Road Warrior."
"Road Warrior," yes. And?
Rogen: Yeah, "Road Warrior" is pretty (awesome) ... probably between "Road Warrior" or "The Book of Eli." (Laughs).
For more on "This is the End," watch our video interview with the cast.