Observe and Report

Seth Rogen and Anna Faris are so wrong and yet so right together. Rogen’s plump, unattractive, self-loving mall cop perfectly contrasts Faris’ playboy, make-up counter, character. Their differences unit in the fact that both actors pushed their roles to the extreme. Both of them have created two equally un-likeable characters that you can’t help but enjoy watching them in painful situations.

What’s so great about this film is that you don’t have to side with the characters at all. This is not a film where you laugh with the characters, this is a film where you laugh AT the characters, thanks to both of their stellar and unique performances.

A few weeks ago, the recently trimmed down Seth Rogen and the plumped up Anna Faris sat down with a group of us to talk about their work in Observe and Report.

Check out what they had to say below…

While filming something as funny as Observe and Report, do you ever have trouble not laughing during a take?

Anna: It was hard. There were definitely moments where I had to bite my tongue a little bit. But, you really don’t want to mess up somebody’s take. That’s really important. It’s great to laugh and have a good time, but you usually do that after they say, “Cut!”

Seth: I feel really guilty when I start laughing while someone else is doing their take. If it makes you want to laugh, it usually means they’re doing something really funny and, if you ruin it, I’ve seen people get really pissed off about it. Because we’re all really good friend, you might be willing to show how actually mad you are, if someone fucks up something that you or someone else is doing. It instantly becomes very unfunny, if you laugh during someone else’s take.

Seth, you were so committed to this character. Did that make you feel like you were doing a drama?

Seth: No, not at all. In my head, it was all very funny. There was no dramatic element to it at all, really. The more serious and crazy it was, the funnier I thought it was, after the take. In my head, it was all a comedy.

Did you base this on anybody that you had met?

Seth: I talked to a security guard for 20 minutes, a week before we started shooting. Throughout my life, I have encountered many, but I didn’t really base it on anyone. It was pretty much on the page. When I read it, and just through talking to Jody, I got what he was going for.

What was your first response, when you read the screenplay and saw that you got to play such a violent mall cop?

Seth: I agreed to do it, before I even read the screenplay.  I was friends with Jody, at that point. We’d known each other for awhile. I’d seen The Foot Fist Way and I had seen Eastbound & Down already, so I was in. He was like, “I’m thinking of doing another movie,” and I was like, “Okay, whatever you need, man.” And then, I got the script months later. Before we started pre-production is when I read the script. I was like, “Perfect, let’s do it!”

What was the most fun thing about making this film?

Anna: For me, it was getting to play such an awful character. It was so fun! As a woman, especially, you normally play roles where you have to win the audience over or win the guy over, and be charming. This character is just like, “Screw you! I hope that you hate me,” and that was so liberating to play. For me, there was a lot of joy and liberation in playing this character.

Seth: Honestly, I thought the movie was awesome and insane, and I couldn’t believe we were getting to make it, so that made it really exciting, on a day-to-day basis. I’d just be standing there with a gun and there would be a guy covered in blood on the ground, and I’d be like, “What are we doing? This is nuts!” I’ve been friends with Jody for awhile. We’re very close to one another, in age. And, that experience really was different from any experience I’ve had. It felt like making a movie with a good friend, rather than for a director or someone that I’ve been working with a long time, which was great. It was a really unique experience, in that regard.

How do you know Jody?

Seth: While we were filming Knocked Up, I met him. That was around three years ago, at this point. We just saw The Foot Fist Way. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who we’re friends with, bought the rights to it, so we got a DVD of it, thought it was funny and started hang out with him, basically.

rogenandfaros-oandr-09-4-7

Anna, you have an extremely unusual sex scene, where it appeared that you never really gave consent until during.

Anna: I said, “Why are you stopping, mother fucker!,” and I meant it.
Seth: The implication would be to keep going, yes.
Anna: Yeah.
Seth: That was a funny line.
Anna: It was great to see that with an audience. One journalist told me that she was ready to walk away from the movie, and then, when I mumbled that line, it’s like, “Oh, my God!” It was great to see the reaction from the audience.
Seth: You can literally feel people thinking, “What are they going to do to make this okay? How is this going to be acceptable?” And then, she says the one thing that makes it acceptable. It’s perfect! We did that in one take. We literally had one camera and one take. I think it took under a minute to film that scene.

And how about your other scene with Ray Liotta? What was that like being shoved into a back seat of a car with him?

Anna: We ended up talking about his daughter. We really couldn’t move. That backseat was tight. I was slammed up against him and there was a camera wedging us in. It was awkward, for sure. And, I was wearing that huge push-up bra and my boobs were right in his face. We were both sweating. And, we were stuck back there for a long time.
Seth: It was a really long time. I just remember thinking, “Thank God, I’m not in that fucking car!” I kept walking about between takes and Jody would be like, “Man, they’re in there right now. What do you think they’re talking about?”
Anna: The things we do!

(Of course in every interview, you get the person who asks the question that makes no sense. Normally I edit these out, but I REALLY love Rogen’s response…)

You’ve been outspoken about legalize marijuana. Are you still?

Seth: That was just because I was promoting Pineapple Express. I’ve been outspoken about pornography (for Zack & Miri). I’ve been outspoken about pregnancy (for Knocked Up). What’s the question?

Are you still talking about legalizing pot?

Seth: Am I still talking about it? If you ask me about it, I guess I am. I wasn’t before you did, though. Yeah, legalize it, sure. Great! I’m on board.

(Now back to the interview…)

Seth, you have a lot of physical stuff to do in this. What kind of training did you have to do? Did you have to learn how to shoot the guns?

Seth: We shot a lot of guns in Pineapple Express, so I already knew how to shoot guns. I had to learn how to ride a motorcycle, which was pretty rad. I think I’m the first Jew ever on a motorcycle. That was fun! But, other than that, it wasn’t that outside the realm of what I’d done.

Did you gain weight for Observe & Report?

Seth: I actually did gain a little weight for Observe & Report. We shot it right after Zack & Miri. Not that I was in amazing shape after that, but it seemed like it would be funny, the bigger Ronnie was and the less physically capable he looked. The joke is that he actually is pretty dangerous, but we wanted that to come as a real surprise and for the audience to think that he was the fumbling guy. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

Did you have a lot of stuntmen doing your fight scenes?

Seth: No, I actually did a lot of it.
Anna: It was impressive. Everybody was talking about it.
Seth: Pretty much everything you see, I did. It was all Seth Rogen, guys. Tell your kids!

How did they cast “The Flasher”?

Seth: Jody got him. His name is Randy. He’s actually a good friend of Jody’s. They went to film school together. He was actually the production designer for The Foot Fist Way. That’s a little trivia for you.

What was it like to shoot that scene with him? Was the set closed to kids?

Seth: No, there were kids on set. Actually, no there wasn’t. I don’t think there was.
Anna: I can’t remember. But, he wore a patch, some of the time.
Seth: Yeah. He wasn’t always as naked as he appeared to be. But, there is that scene where he’s naked in front of hundreds of people, and he actually was.
Anna: He was very brave.
Seth: There was no hiding it. He said it was one of the best days of his entire life.

Was this the first film for the Asian twins?

Seth: They’re hilarious!
Anna: They’re so funny!
Seth: Jody worked with them in reality television. They were loggers. They logged reality television footage. And, he wrote the part for them. They’re not actors, or anything like that.
Anna: But, they love guns. They’re crazy about guns.
Seth: They’re obsessed with guns. In the scene where we’re at the firing range and they’re just cleaning their guns, all that stuff they say about guns wasn’t in the script. Literally, Jody was just like, “Talk about guns,” and they were like, “Okay.” They just talked about guns. They’re nuts!

Now that you’re a big movie star, are you still going to write?

Seth: Yeah. We’re writing The Green Hornet. It’s not about control. We just enjoy writing. That’s how we started. To me, the most fun element of what I do is just sitting and writing the screenplays. That’s the most fun thing to do, for me.
Anna: With the exception of a script like this, I feel like you have to create the characters that you want to play.
Seth: Yeah, I totally think that’s true. Honestly, I wish I was sitting there today and someone sent a script that was hilarious to me, and I read it and thought, “This is amazing! Perfect! I’ll go do it!” But, that just doesn’t happen. We started writing, in the first place, because we were like, “No one’s making the movies we want to see. Fuck, do we have to do it? I guess we do!” That’s still how we feel. If someone else was writing this Green Hornet movie, that would be great. I’d sign on and do it. But, no one else is writing it, so we have to do it.

Anna, you have a big, gorgeous diamond ring on your hand.

Anna: Thank you! I hope it’s real.

Do you have a day?

Anna: We just moved in together and we’re still enjoying the engagement. Whatever it is, it’s not going to be a lot of drama. His name is Chris Pratt and he’s on Amy Poehler’s show, called “Parks & Recreation.”

Observe and Report is in theaters April 10th!

Further Reading:

  • Check out what Seth Rogen had to say about the Green Hornet.