Seth Rogen talks about the MTV Movie Awards and What Happened on Stage

     June 6, 2008

A few days ago I was on the set of the tentatively titled Seth Rogen comedy “Observe and Report.” While I’m under a big embargo for everything I saw and heard pertaining to that movie…I can write about everything else we heard.

While a ton of the quotes that Seth Rogen gave are already online…since we spoke to him for almost an hour that day, they’re still many more nuggets of cool info to post…like his response to what happened at the MTV Movie Awards.

In case you didn’t see it, when Seth and James Franco went onstage, they took out some fake weed and smoked a joint. As they did it, the camera went to a wide shot and you couldn’t see what they were doing…but you could hear what they were saying.

Since no one knew if it was scripted or if MTV just freaked out, when we were on set, I asked Seth about it and he explained in very clear terms how it all went down.

I also asked him about Comic-Con since I’d heard they were going to be doing the Pineapple Express junket during the convention. He confirmed my info and also said he’d be there for the entire convention – with screenings being held of the movie and Q&A’s after the show! Yet another reason why Comic-Con will be amazing this year.

In the coming days I might have a few more nuggets of info from Seth…but until then…enjoy these quotes:

Q: Superbad was inspired by 13-year-olds. Is Pineapple inspired a bit older?

SR: Definitely. It’s definitely inspired by stretches I’ve gone through where I do nothing but smoke weed for months and months on end, and relationships I’ve had with the people that supplied me that weed, and just kind of pothead relationships in general. I mean, yeah, it’s definitely, we take it obviously to a somewhat ridiculous extreme in the movie but the core of the story is definitely based around prior experiences.

Q: What happened at the MTV Awards?

SR: I will tell you exactly how this went down. Around two and a half weeks ago I was told that they wanted us to do the MTV Awards and I sent this idea where wouldn’t it be kind of funny maybe if – – literally the number one question we get asked is, “What do you guys smoke in the movie? What is it?” And I just get sick of saying, “It’s f*ckin’ fake weed.” So we just thought we’ll just put all those rumors to bed and at the same time, in a playful way, I’ll come out, we’ll say, “What is it? It’s fake weed.” And we’ll light our fake joint and it’ll be all in good fun. I made it clear, if they have any problem with this, tell me now ’cause I will be more than happy to come up with another idea. I just want enough time that we can come up with something we like, but if you like this idea, then we’re more than happy to do it. We heard, “Go ahead, sounds great.” They sent us a script a few days later that is word for word the script that we said on Sunday night. We showed up at the awards, went backstage literally while Coldplay was on so a minute and a half before we were supposed to go on and all of a sudden, someone goes up to us and says, “You can’t do the bit with the props.” We said, “That’s the whole bit, the props. What are we doing if we’re not doing the bit with the props?” They said there was a kafuffle. I said, “You sent this to us.” I had the physical script that they sent me. I said, “This is what you sent us.” And they said, “Okay, you can go out and do it.” We went out and did it. It played great in the room. We lit that joint, it f*ckin’ blew up in there. Then later on someone told me, “Oh, they pulled out really wide and made it seem like you weren’t supposed to be doing that.” Again, we literally didn’t say one word that wasn’t on that teleprompter. They handed Franco the bag of weed. They gave me the lighter. They gave me the fake joint. It could not have been more planned. I don’t know if they did that to make it seem like we were doing something we shouldn’t or someone chickened out at the last second, but it’s all very amusing to me.

Q: Does it make people want to see Pineapple Express more now?

SR: I don’t know. It gets the name of the movie out. The only reason I was at the MTV Movie Awards was to promote the movie. That’s all that is is a big f*ckin’ publicity event so that’s why I was there. So we promoted the movie. That’s why we were there, that’s what we did.

Q: How did you fit in with Kevin Smith?

SR: It was good. He let us improvise to the best that his shooting style will allow. He shoots very specifically because he edits the movies also. So shot for shot, the whole movie is planned out in his head beforehand. So that to some degree limits the amount of improv you can do just because often, you see how we shoot here. They just kind of plop two cameras on us and we go but with Kevin, it’s much more specifically shot. It’s like well, this shot’s only good for three words, so you can improv all you want but only three words are going to be in this shot. So I was proud of him. He let us do a lot of stuff that he never thought he would let people do. I’ve seen the movie. There is a lot of the improv we’ve done in the movie and I think it feels maybe more naturalistic than some of his other movies do. But that being said, it’s not quite the same universe as what we do here.

Q: Any long fanboy diatribes for you?

SR: No, not so much. Yeah, no, not really that I can remember right now.

Q: Are you going back to standup this summer?

SR: Oy vey, I think I’m supposed to. Yeah, I was actually just talking to Adam Sandler about that. I saw him over the weekend. We were just both like, “What the f*ck are we going to write jokes about now? Our lives are awesome.” It sucks any and all humor out. All my jokes are about not being able to get laid and having no money. Now I have a girlfriend and a good job. I literally don’t know what the f*ck to write about. I’ve got all these Hills jokes and sh*t. Just like is this funny? Jokes about Spencer? Can I do that? Does anyone give a sh*t? It’s removed me from my insecure base which is where all my jokes came from.

Q: Is that a dramedy?

SR: Yeah, it definitely has more dramatic elements than any of the other movies do but in my head is just as funny as any of the other ones. Yeah, I think that’s a fair – – that term I always found weird. I always thought realistic was a better way to explain things that were “Dramedies” because life is like that. It’s funny, it’s dramatic and to me that’s how I see it.

Q: Will you be rehearsing all summer until September?

SR: No, I’m not shooting anything between now and then. I’ve got a lot of f*ckin’ Pineapple Express promotion to do. Gotta smoke weed at the Juno Awards and the Tonys. Gotta smoke weed at the Blockbuster Awards. Do they still do that? No, I’m just promoting the movie basically and then we start rehearsals I think around the end of August or something like that.

Q: Will you come to Comic-Con?

SR: Yeah, our whole press junket is at Comic-Con actually. We’ll be there for like five days or something.

Q: Like Superbad last year?

SR: Yeah, pretty much. We’re doing a screening and a Q&A and we’ve got our junket there and we’ve got a big f*ckin’ panel in that giant, giant room.

Q: Can you walk around at Comic-Con?

SR: No, I can. What’s funny is people don’t come up to me that often and it drives Jonah crazy. We were just at the MTV Awards and it happened 100 times. We’ll be together and everyone comes up to him and no one comes up to me. And it’s the greatest thing. I don’t know what it is and he went so far as to ask me that. One guy went up right up to him and was like, “Could I take a picture?” He’s like, “Why the f*ck, did you not see him? Why didn’t you ask him?” He goes, “I don’t know, I thought I would ask you.”

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