Seth Rogen discusses mining comedy from good marriages and strong women characters

11.20.15 2 years ago

We're doing more and more interviews at the HitFix offices these days, and it's a pretty great way to disrupt that sort of thudding sameness that happens when you're stuck talking to people at a junket and they've been in that same chair for nine straight hours by the time you get to them.

It's even better when I get someone into the studio who I'm already comfortable with, and that's definitely the case with Seth Rogen. We've been chatting on and off for over a decade now, and it's amazing to see how much his career has evolved in that time. I remember running into him at the “Anchorman” premiere, where he played a very small part, and now he's juggling multiple projects at any given time, both in front of the camera and behind it.

We've got some short pull-out segments from the full-length interview for you, and the first one I wanted to share touched on something that makes his films seem unusual. It's true of “Neighbors,” and it's true of “The Night Before” as well. So often in comedies, husbands and wives are portrayed as adversaries. How many comedies have you seen where the wife is a nag, portrayed as someone who basically exists to hold the husband back from having “real” fun? It's one of those things that you might not actively notice, but it's such a widespread trope that it's only by doing the opposite that you realize just how common it is. In the films Rogen's making, they seem determined to show that you can be in a happy healthy marriage with someone and there can still be drama and comedy and plenty of interesting stories to tell.

We talked about “Neighbors” and the upcoming “Neighbors 2” and how it was the writing for the Rose Byrne character that really helped Rogen crystallize his thinking on the subject. It makes me excited to see the sequel next year, and it's definitely one of the things I liked most about “The Night Before.”

We'll have more from this interview in the days ahead, including some spoilers about the film that we'll post next week once you've had a chance to see it for yourself. And in the meantime, if you'd like to see this week's “FANDEMONIUM” with Roth Cornet and I discussing “The Night Before” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2,” it's embedded below.

“The Night Before” is in theaters now.

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