Friday, November 7, 2008

Funny Men

This week I had a phoner with Seth Rogen and his writing partner, Evan Goldberg, because I'm writing their profile in a special comedy issue of Big Fancy Trade Magazine. I have interviewed Rogen before--last year at the junket for Knocked Up, so I knew he was a really nice, super humble guy who is very down to earth and obviously just really grateful to have his job.

This time was much the same, except for the fact that at Knocked Up it was a press conference, so there were lots of people (but it was his first big movie that he was headlining, so obviously he was nervous and that was a big deal). This time it was a phoner, so I had the two gentlemen all to myself. The interesting thing for me was that because I was representing Big Fancy Trade Magazine, I could actually hear a little bit of nervousness and gratitude in their voices--lots of nervous laughter, which is pretty funny in Rogen's big booming hearty laugh.

In my head it was like, I know this is a big deal for you guys, but I'm just a marginally employed freelance writer laying on my cat-spray-scented sofa and hoping my dog doesn't bark while I ask you questions, so don't stress. But it was obviously a big deal for them. At one point, Seth even said my name, indicating that he had gone to the point of remembering the name of the Big Fancy Trade Mag reporter who was interviewing him. And I sufficiently felt fancy.

The thing is, I know 'talent' can be nervous when being interviewed also because they can't necessarily trust the journo to write nice things about them. The thing for me is, though, that I'm not interested in writing bad stuff. In fact, if they start mouthing off about something, I start cringing inside, like, oh, shit, don't do this! Don't make me have to decide whether to print this!

I am essentially the anti-go-for-the-throat journo. I just want them to be nice and to write something nice about them. Then again, I will completly flay the shit out of their movie if it's bad, so there is that. I'm just not interested in doing it to them personally.

So anyhow, Seth and Evan were lovely and funny and nice to talk to. And in case you're wondering, when they write, one of them sits in the chair and types and the other paces around and yells stuff out or whatever. Evidently one of the chairs in Seth Rogen's office is broken, so now the deal is that whomever gets the 'good' chair is the one who has to type--which is usually Evan. At which point, Evan broke in to say, 'Which is major bullshit because Seth knows I have scoliosis,' (i.e. that's why he gets the good chair and therefore has to type all the time). I responded by asking him if he was a 13-year-old girl. He said he was.

Also, in case you are wondering: Rogen & Goldberg are currently working on a movie of The Green Hornet (which sounds weird, because it doesn't seem like their dick joke humor, but they think it will work), Executive Producing the new Judd Apatow comedy Funny People, and have two other comedies in the pipeline--Jay and Seth versus the Apocalypse and I'm With Cancer. There's other stuff, too, but nothing firm enough to discuss. So there.

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