Today sees the release of This is the End, written and directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, the writing partnership that gave us films like Superbad and Pineapple Express. In the film, Rogen joins friends Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson, and a host of celebrity cameos as versions of themselves forced to deal with the end of the world while throwing a massive house party. Horrifying comedy ensues. We spoke to the film’s writer-directors as well as co-stars McBride and Robinson about sort-of playing themselves and what they would do should the end of the world come upon them.
NERDIST: How did you decide on how to portray your friends, and yourselves, in the film?
EVAN GOLDBERG: It’s based on what we think of them, what they think of themselves, but mostly messing with perception. We worked on the characters with them. We didn’t just hand them the characters.
N: So Danny McBride wanted to play an asshole?
SETH ROGEN: He probably changed the least, I gotta say. [laughs]
DANNY MCBRIDE: That’s the thing; I get the call from Seth and Evan, “Hey we want to you to be in this movie,” and then I read the script and it’s like, “this is how these guys see me?”
N: Pretty far from you as a real person, is it?
Danny: Yeah. If you use this movie to figure out who I really am, I’m apparently a drug addict, I’m an asshole, I have no soul, I’m a cannibal.
CRAIG ROBINSON: There’s obviously the real Craig coming in to play the fake Craig, but there’s also the real Craig in the character. There’s some real, but there’s some things in there that I would never say or do. Where they diverge? I don’t know.
N: This movie is one of a bunch of end-of-the-world movies coming out this year. Did you anticipate that while making it?
Seth: We’ve been trying to make this movie – we made the short like eight years ago.
Evan: Everyone else is riding the 2012, “this is in people’s heads,” wave.
Seth: It just takes us forever to get our movies made.
Evan: If we had it our way, this would be 2007.
N: How would you fare in the real apocalypse?
Evan: Not bad, because people need laughter. And they wouldn’t kill us.
Seth: Would that be our commodity?
Seth: That’s what we’d bring to the table?
Evan: And, it seems weird, but we’d be good warriors. We’re big; we’re big dudes. We can fight AND we can make people laugh.
Seth: People want to forget their problems in apocalyptic times.
Danny: I think I would fare well. I think I would go Red Dawn-style and hit a sports store and just make my way for the woods.
Craig: I would kick ass. I know the weapon I would use: a gauntlet with a scepter from the hand to the elbow with some leather gloves. I’d be able to [mimes fighting] *Pa-Pow!* You know what I’m saying? I wouldn’t go around just killing to kill; only if I had to. I would try to befriend the zombies and see how far that would go. They might be going “Ahhhhh…heeeeeeelp,” but people go “AAAHHH!!” and kill ‘em.
It might be the end of the world, but at least you’ll die laughing. This is the End is in theaters across the nation right now.