By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros Pictures
Observe and Report
So far, Seth Rogen’s characters have resembled himself in many ways, especially the ones he wrote. He’s played pot smoking losers who ramble off insults at pop culture phenomena. Observe and Report is a stretch for him, playing mall cop Ronnie Barnhardt.
Seth Rogen to Observe and Report
“I don't think I'm like Ronnie that much,” Rogen said. “I think for all these movies, I think you just need one small thing for people to relate to. I think for this one, he views himself one way and the world views him another way. He has a hard time dealing with that and I think that's relatable. It's small but I relate to that.”
Ronnie’s unfulfilled quest to be a real authority and solve crimes has led some to call the film more dark and tragic than Rogen’s other comedies. He just went for the laughs.
“I guess the end result of this movie, I think it comes across as a serious role I suppose but as we were filming it, it did not seem like that at all. I think people are, ideally, from what I've read, viewing it exactly how we wanted them too but when we were filming it, it did not feel like a dark, serious role. The second they yelled cut, we were laughing after every single thing we were doing, regardless of how dark it may seem on film.”
Still, entering new territory was an eye opening experience for Rogen. “It was a lot of fun. A lot of our comedy isn’t often based on awkward, uncomfortable situation, so it was fun to work in a different tone, the one that we don’t do. And I like it a lot. So, yeah, it was fun to get to be the guy inspiring the awkwardness. I got to finally cry! That’s going to be on my reel.”
One familiar element you might recognize is Ronnie carrying somebody away cradle style. “It's not entirely accidental. It's symbolic in a lot of ways. I didn't have anything to do with the writing of Observe and Report but I know for Superbad and Pineapple, it's a very symbolic thing, carry your friend out of some danger. It just works for the theme and it's a hilarious image.”
Observe and Report opens to theaters on April 10th.