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At a recent press day for the upcoming dark comedy Observe and Report, in which Seth Rogen stars as mall cop Ronnie Barnhardt, Rogen showed up looking trimmer than ever in preparation for his next project, a big screen adaptation of The Green Hornet. Always the jokester, Rogen refused to divulge his fitness routine, pretending instead that the weight loss was due to his newfound discovery of bulimia. "You can eat whatever you want and you just throw up afterwards," he deadpanned. "A lot of people go with the finger, but I drink to the point of vomiting. That way you get drunk, also." On a more serious note, Rogen opened up about taking on his first comic book role.
Q: When do you start shooting The Green Hornet?
Seth Rogen: The end of June is our tentative start date right now.
Q: With Green Hornet, you'll not only be playing the film's title character but you're co-writing the script and producing as well. In Observe and Report, you're just an actor for hire. How was it only doing one job instead of three?
Rogen: It's a lot easier. I'll only [just act in] a movie if [the director is] someone who I trust. Once you trust someone, you kinda hand yourself over to them and say: "Do your thing, I'm just one of the actors."
Q: Your producing credits began with The 40 Year Old Virgin, and continued with Knocked Up, Superbad and Pineapple Express. Did you have to resist temptation to not get involved on a producing level with Observe and Report?
Rogen: Every time there was a conversation on set where I'd see [director] Jody [Hill] and the producers in an intense conversation I'd be like, "I'm so glad I'm not in that conversation." Normally I'd have to be one of those guys and then I'd have to go back to [acting in] the scene also. Now I can go back to my trailer and watch movies for an hour and they have to deal with whatever that was all about. I enjoyed it a lot. It was much less stressful on a day-to-day basis.
Q: You're back to being a triple hyphenate on The Green Hornet. How is the stress level now?
Rogen: Just pre-production on Green Hornet is 10 times more difficult than filming all of Observe and Report was. There is a lot more to think about and a lot more responsibility.
Q: The Green Hornet is your third collaboration with Evan Goldberg. How's it coming along?
Rogen: We've don't even have a finished script right now. We're in the middle of rewriting.
Q: The Green Hornet was originally a radio program and then was turned into film serials, followed by a TV show and comic books. Are you basing your feature film on any of the previous incarnations?
Rogen: We were inspired by the original so we took what we thought was good and left what we didn't. We didn't feel any real obligation living up to the original because the radio play's totally different than the TV show, which is totally different than the comic book. There really is no set way [to do it].
Q: Let's test your Green Hornet trivia. Zorro, Lone Ranger and Green Hornet wear similar-looking masks. Are any of them related?
Rogen: The Green Hornet is the Lone Ranger's grand-nephew.
Q: Impressive! So can we expect to see the Lone Ranger in your film?
Rogen: The rights to The Lone Ranger are owned by [producer] Jerry Bruckheimer, so that probably limits the amount of involvement we can have in our movie.
Q: Stephen Chow was originally supposed to direct The Green Hornet and star as Kato, but then he fell out as director. Now Michel Gondry is directing. What exactly will be Stephen Chow's involvement in this movie?
Rogen: He may be Kato. I'm not 100 percent sure if that's the case, but it's a very likely possibility. Honestly, we're in the early phases now, putting those elements in place.
Q: Will you be doing your own stunts?
Q: Give us a peek into the script. You're known for your humor, so will Green Hornet be a comedy or more of an action type film?
Rogen: We want it to have funny parts. We want the relationships to be funny but we want the action to be like a real action movie.
Q: So both elements then. Kind of like Pineapple Express?
Rogen: Uh, yeah, but a lot bigger....and less weed!
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