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Hey Boys and Girls, somebody must’ve hung a “free cheese” sign outside the doors of the shrine, folks, because we’ve had visitors galore and boy, are we joyous. First up, our hilarious chat with the stars of the excellent comedy, Pineapple Express. Breathe in deep and get the contact…

 

 Pineapple Express

 

Danny McBride & Rosie Perez

 

Q:  So how did you guys get involved with Pineapple Express?

Rosie Perez:  {Pineapple Express director) David Gordon Green knows my agent and called her up and said, “I want Rosie in for this. Will she read the script?” And he and I knew each other prior and I read it and I loved it and David said “Well, we have to be honest with you; the studio doesn’t have you in mind at all.” And I was like “Alright, cool, let’s do it!” So that’s how it came to me.

Danny McBride:  Judd (Apatow) & Seth (Rogen) had said that he’s seen this independent film that some buddies of mine had made called The Foot Fist Way and they liked that and invited us to visit the set of Knocked Up and I just kinda became friends with Seth after that. When they showed me the script and told me they had this project, they didn’t have a director yet. I had actually gone to film school with David Gordon Green, he was my next door neighbor my freshman year at college and all the stuff he made at school was really funny, but out of school he made some pretty serious dramatic work. He told me he always wanted to go ahead and get back to doing comedies again and just seeing the way Judd and Seth worked was really similar to the way David worked with his dramatic stuff which is making sure the actors had the characters down and they would just improv and let them do whatever. It just seemed like it would be a good fix, so I kind of introduced them together. And then I think, I’m not sure but I think – {to Rosie} didn’t Judd and Seth say they had both slept with David then? He was hired!

 

Q: Rosie, what was it like for you working with all the improv on the set?

RP:  Initially, I couldn’t stand it. I just did all the Broadway; I did three Broadway plays back-to-back and where you cannot deviate from the play. And so I’m sticking so strongly to the text and David’s like “Let it go.”  And I go, {in big theatrical voice} “I am trained now from the theah-tah!” Ans then once I let it go and once they paired me with Gary Cole, then I was able to relax and go forward and have a lot of fun.

 

Q:  Danny, you have a pretty intense fight scene in the film with Seth and James Franco, did you do many of your own stunts?

DM:  We did all of our own stuff with that. That was one of the things David talked about – if we put stuntmen in here who know how to fight, know how to take hits, know how to handle weapons, it’s not gonna be funny. He really wanted it to be us. His pitch was just this fight scene that involved guys that didn’t have the ability to knock each other out so the fight would just keep going on and on and on. Yeah, so that was real and it hurt, too, I got the back of my head split open.

 

Q:  Danny how does playing Red in Pineapple express compare to your role in Tropic Thunder?

DM:  It was crazy. I actually did Tropic Thunder right after this. I think I had a month off in between, but they were both really awesome productions. Being in Kauai with Ben Stiller and Jack Black and Downey and all these guys was pretty insane. On Pineapple it’s like I’m working with David who I’d gone to school with. David uses all the same people on his crew all the time and we’re on the Sony lot on the soundstage and there’s all these guys I from film school with all working on this real movie with real actors and we’re not being paid with ham sandwiches, so it’s great we were enjoying.

 

Mighty Ganesha:  Rosie’s got some action in this, too. What was it like doing your big fight scene?

RP:  It was excruciating and I felt they should’ve paid me more money! Seriously … No, but it was really harder than I thought because there as scene where he kicks and I fly up in the air, fall on my back, that’s me. That’s really me. I think we did it 15 times and they had just a little, tiny thin pad and I was like, {Shouting} “THE PAD AIN’T WORKIN’! I’M DONE!” 

 

Q:  Is it true that one of your costars bit you on the butt during that fight scene?

RP:  Yes it is.

 

MG:  Is your family still looking for him? 

RP:  Actually, my cousin Sixto, yeah, he got upset. I had to tell him, “No, no, no, we were just working.” He was like, “{In big macho voice} “Well, why’d he do that?” I had to tell him its work, it’s part of the work.

 

MG:  What were some of the influences for Red? It seems like there’s a lot happening with him.

DM:  There’s a lot, and a lot of that I will credit to David. One thing David does is he just kinda whatever you have, any ideas you have going into it, he just gets you out of that area, whatever you planned. Like you’ll starting doing it the way you wanted to and then he’ll be like, “Do it like you’re a drunk robot, now.” And you’re just like, ‘What the fuck does that mean?’ Then you try to do your take like a drunk robot, then he’s like, “Do it like you’re an Indian chief.” I dunno he just gives out all these insane directions that just kind of get you into a place where you’re like, ‘Wow, I never imagined I’d be doing the scene like this,’ and then he just picks and chooses and really kinda creates. There’s stuff where I’m watching and I’m like, “God, that’s so fuckin’ weird, dude, what is he saying?”

 

Q:  Rosie, you have so many mediums, dance, film, stage, where are you most comfortable?

RP:  Well, dance and me, we broke up. Yeah we broke up. After I watched Britney Spears, I said, “I’m done!” Seriously, too. But I would say that right now my heart is still with the theatre, I love it. I would say that this movie – and this is no bullshit – this movie reignited my love for moviemaking. This one and the one I did previous with John Leguizamo, The Take, because those were two movies where I got to do something different and only the theatre allowed me that. They allowed me different roles. I’m doing a role that Kathy Bates originated on Broadway and then I’m doing a role that Rita Moreno originated. Those kind of opportunities never really presented itself in regards to the film world, they always wanted me to do the same thing over and over, and I don’t have a problem with that, but you’re not the same person, you get older and I’m funny in a different way now. I was fucking hilarious back then, but I’m really hilarious now. So I think this movie and The Take brought me back to the screen, like falling in love with it again. But still my heart is still with Broadway, I can’t help it, I love it. I’m just a sucker for the audience. I know it sounds really sick, but even in Frankie and Johnny when I’m hearing someone sniffle; my heart would just soar onstage, or if someone just cracked up when I’m singing The Sun is Gonna Come Out Mañana, y’know and everyone laughs it’s justa little bit different. But at the {Pineapple Express} premiere, the audience did not stop laughing!

DM:   It was a wall of laughter

RP:   From beginning to end! And I was like, ‘This is great,’ so I’m falling back in love with it.

 

Q:  What’s coming up next for you two?

RP:  I’m gonna be on Lipstick Jungle. It was a guest star, but now it’s a recurring role. And I’m producing two movies. One is with Ted Hope and Anne Carey and Greene Street films; we made the deal with D-Knowledge writing the screenplay. It’s a very, very dramatic piece very heavy and has to do with what’s going on today, even though we optioned the book five years ago about classism and racism going on inside within the African-American community amongst themselves.  The whole Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Ludacris – that bash? It takes place in a much simpler atmosphere it’s not like high profile with talk show hosts and movie stars and rappers. It has not been cast as of yet, but it’s going to be a very challenging film. The stupid thing is that I didn’t get a part for myself in it! I was like reading the script, “{Grumbly voice} “There’s no part for me!” {Laughs

DM:  I just finished shooting Land of the Lost with Will Ferrell, which is a remake of the old TV show which was pretty incredible. It was a pretty awesome time.

RP:  Who’s Chewbacca?

DM:  You mean Chaka?

RP:  Chaka! {Laughs}

DM:  We tried to get Chewbacca in, but he wasn’t available. Chaka’s this little guy, Jorma Taccone, who writes for SNL, he does these digital shorts with Andy Samberg and all those guys. It was a pretty incredible time, it was awesome, running from Sleestacks and dinosaurs and shit that’s not there. It was pretty cool.

 

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a storyteller?

DM:  Well, it’s really odd cos I went to school for directing and writing and kinda of never really had any ambitions to get into acting at all. At the school there, we would act in each other’s student films because the North Carolina School of the Arts is like a conservatory where people would go for acting or set design or music and the film school was the newest addition. And for whatever reason no one liked that the film school was there and it was getting all this money and all this attention. It was like the new baby and all the older kids were pissed that it was born. And the drama teachers didn’t want their students working with the film department; they thought that we would taint them that we would give them bad habits. Cos God knows, that everyone coming out of acting school’s gonna work with really experienced directors, that’s a given, right? So it forced us to act in each other’s student projects just cos we didn’t’ know anyone act or anything. Not to say that we could act we would just do it. Yeah, so it’s kinda weird, cos we made these projects and now all of a sudden there’s all these acting opportunities coming up and it’s like, ‘Well I never really saw myself going in this role,’ but you’re just getting to work with people you always admired and liked. So it’s definitely been a pretty surreal last year. It’s been pretty amazing.

RP:  I don’t know, I think that if you met my family we’re all… like {stage director} Joe Mantello, he’s met my family and he’s like, “All you guys are performers,” and they’re not in the business, except Sixto, believe it or not… I think I just have this need, like you said about Danny to be a storyteller. That’s why I wasn’t a great dancer, because I couldn’t articulate a story. I was a better choreographer. I think that’s really what it is, I have the need to just express myself in that way and I can’t explain it. Even when I’m sitting at home and I’m watching a movie, I’ll get an idea and I’ll just start writing it down. It’s nonstop for me. And even when I listen to music – even though I said I broke up with dance, we fool around every now and then, still – and a whole dance comes into my head. And it’s weird because I was a biochem major in college and Spike Lee says, “You need to be in movies.” And I guess he saw something.

 

Q:  So you credit Spike Lee with putting you on the path toward acting?

RP:  He discovered me, yes. I was in a nightclub and we got in an argument… {Laughs}

DM: You got a job, that’s incredible!

RP: {Still laughing} I got a job!

DM:  When I get into fights in bars I end up with a black eye, you get work out of it.

RP:  Yeah, and I decided, “Okay, well, it’s during the summer. It could be between classes,” and when I went back to school I went, “What the hell am I sitting in here for?” And it just changed everything.

 

Q: What was the argument about?

RP:  He was having a butt contest to see which black woman in the club had the biggest ass. And I was saying, “Don’t degrade yourself,” and so I just ridiculed the whole thing where I jumped on the stage and bent over and everything and the girls felt stupid, and they brought a bouncer, and then they called security and then I started crying cos of course I wimped out… And then I found out there was this little scrawny guy behind it all I said, “You’re the reason?” And then we started arguing and that was it. I think Spike has sparked a lot of careers, I think he’s a genius in that way. He really is smart just like we’re talking about this now, just like an everyday person when you said “I didn’t know I was gonna act,” it’s like because you get the simplicity of it, you know what I mean? It’s not brain surgery, but it’s magic.

 

Q:  Is there a role that either of you would like to play that you really want to take on?

DM: {To Rosie} You got this one? I dunno, I mean I haven’t even had a chance to even sit down and look that far ahead. I’m just, on a daily basis surprised that I’m working.

RP:  I don’t know, I have absolutely no idea. I know there’s a role that scares me that I’ve been offered and I keep turning it down, to play La Lupe….

{Temple gasps}

RP:  Don’t do that cos I’m getting scared, now. Whatever comes my way and if I dig it, I do it. I don’t think about, “I need to do this.”

 

Q:  What scares you about playing La Lupe?

RP:  Cos she was AMAZING! She was amazing and complex and talked faster than I do and just an amazing, crazy, pure… You gotta see it; she’s crazy and that’s a big thing to do. La Lupe is like a Barbra Streisand. So who the hell would wanna fuckin’ play Barbara Streisand? {Laughs}Who’d wanna take that one on?

DM: {Raises hand} That’s my role, that’s what I wanna do.

RP:  {Laughs}

 

 

James Franco & Seth Rogen

 

Seth Rogen: {Walks in toting a book about pot} Someone gave me this.

Mighty Ganesha:  I can’t imagine why…

SR: Yeah! {Laughs}

 

MG:  We just had Rosie and Danny in talking about some of the action in the film and James, I understand there’s a price on your head from Rosie’s cousin, Sixto?

SR:  {Laughs} Sixto was pissed!

James Franco: I dunno. You know we did an action scene together and fight scene together and it was uh … You know, like on Spider-Man we’d usually have like two to four weeks to do an action scene and on this movie we only had like, two hours. So we did most of the scene and David Gordon Green, the director said, “Let’s just do one take where ya kinda wrestle and see what happens.” So we were doing that and then the opportunity arose where I had a shot to bite her ass, and so I took it, and I think it was very funny. It’s not in the movie I think the reason is because Rosie was laughing when it happened. And then I heard the next day she said that her niece had loved the idea that I had bitten her ass, but I guess her cousin was upset. But I’m also told if he thinks the movie is funny, then I’m okay.

SR:  Then he won’t kill you!

 

Q:  Seth have you been looking for an opportunity to work with James again since your time together on Freaks and Geeks?

SR:  Uh, I wouldn’t exactly put it like that. Y’know I always liked James and I was always definitely open to working with him again, but it didn’t really seem that there would be any real way that that would happen…

JF:  I was always trying. I wanted him as my sidekick in Tristan {+ Isolde}

SR:  I tried out for Sandman, Tristan and what is the other one? Annapolis?

JF:   Yeah.

SR:  I auditioned to play Annapolis. But you know, we always got along really well and Judd ran into him and the notion of working with him arose again and I got really excited about that idea, cos I always thought he was hilarious. And you know he shot that thing for Knocked Up and that was a lot of fun, and he was really funny doing that, so as soon as that all started happening it seemed like a great idea.

 

Q: There’s been so much talent that came out of the Freak and Geeks show. Did you know when you were making it that it would be special?

JF:  Well I think it was Seth’s first professional job and it was the first good thing that I did. And at the time I had a feeling that it was good and it had a good response, but it was only subsequent to that when I had done projects that weren’t as good as that that I realised how special that group of people was, from the writers to that actors they got to the producers. So, it really was a kind of unique experience that I’ve learned only after it was cancelled.

 

Q: How did you get into the mindset of a pothead?

SR:  It was really hard for me… {Laughs} I moved to Holland and spent some time there. Just getting down in the streets, hittin’ the pavement. You know, it wasn’t that tough for me. Franco, we introduced him to some pot-type people.

JR:   Me, I don’t smoke weed. I mean maybe if Seth said that…when I say it you can really believe it. I mean I certainly have but I never sold it or anything, and so I went and met pot dealers and asked them how they ran their business and then I found one guy that I thought was a particularly good model, so we got him a job on the crew. So he was around all the time if I needed any… weird pot names or anything like that.

SR: Any pot!

 

Q:  Where did the idea for the story come from, Seth?

SR:  The rough notion for the story came from Judd, just kind of the idea of these guys going on the run from pot dealers. Then me and Evan (Goldberg, co-writer) just started really thinking what was a kind of organic way for that to happen and how could we really kind of explore this funny relationship between potheads and pot dealers, and just really putting in a lot of our own personal experiences and did a lot of thinking of what exactly we would wanna see in a movie, y’know? Car chases and shootout and ninjas and shit like that, so yeah, we just kinda threw in the kitchen sink.

 

Q: When you were writing the action scenes were you conscious of how funny they would appear onscreen?

SR:  I think it’s great, it’s better than I ever hoped it would be. We always thought that the violence and the humour could work really well together. Judd was a little wary of that, I would say. He was not quite as confident that we could do things as graphically as we do them and still maintain humour and I just thought you could. These are the people who go see Hostel and stuff like that, y’know? This is nothing that’s outside of the realm of what’s seen and I think it turned out great. We did put a lot of thought it the kind of odd version of these action scenes, I mean you’ve seen a lot of scenes where three guys were fighting, but I feel like you’ve never really seen one where none of them were able to knock each other out just cos they’re not that good at fighting. You’ve seen a lot of guys kick out a car window in car chases, but you’ve never seen a guy fail and get his foot stuck. So we just kinda went through the list of things that we’ve seen a million action movies and how can we kinda just flip ‘em on their head a bit and do them how they would probably go down in real life.

 

Q: Were you influenced by other stoner comedies when making this film, like the Cheech and Chong films?

SR: Yeah, I honestly don’t love the Cheech and Chong movies, I guess. But I really like, y’know - The Big Lebowski’s probably my favourite movie of all time, and Friday I watched around a hundred thousand times when I was in high school. When you’re young and you’re just starting to smoke weed and then there’s whole movies about this?! That’s the awesomest thing ever. So yeah especially growing up I was a big fan of those movies, but we realised that the ones that we really like aren’t just for people who are stoned and kinda try to break out of that box a little bit by adding other elements to it.

 

Q:  What did you learn about yourselves playing these characters?

JF:  I never wanna do a drama again, I guess. It’s like, so serious and this was so fun.

SR:  Yeah, me either!

JF:  I basically don’t wanna ever play another different character again; I just wanna do this character.

 

Q:  So no more Spider-Man?

JF:  If they let me play Saul, yeah.

 

MG: One of the things that I found fascinating was that you have these real macho 80’s type villains like Red and the two assassins, but there’s a real homoerotic subtext going on there …

SR: {v. serious) Yes.

 

MG: So it is in there,  it’s not just me.

SR:  I don’t think its subtext, I think it was just… text! {Laughs}

JR: {Laughs} You wrote that!

 

MG: Okay, I didn’t imagine it.

SR: No, yeah!

JF: Yeah!

 

MG:  James, were you conscious of Saul’s flexibility?

JF:  Yeah, especially cos David would say, basically like, “You’re in love with Dale”

SR: Yeah, “Look at him like you love him,” there was a lot of that.

JF: {Laughs} It seemed like maybe Judd didn’t even realise that until… I remember watching some dailies with him after we’d been shooting for a little while and he’s like, “My God, it’s a love story between a deal and his client.” I really like where that’s what kinda transcends the genre, where it’s not just, like, two idiots smoking weed and they’re just high and that’s the only appeal. You know, it’s a relationship movie…

 

MG: Seth, were you ever afraid of writing the characters as maybe too fey?

SR:  No. {Laughs} There’s no such thing as too fey on our set! Yeah, I mean, to us that was the joke, I mean we knew that was kind of the anchor of the movie was the fact that it was about this relationship and not just about murders and weed and machine guns, y'know? To us the challenge and the goal was to really combine this relationship movie with this crazy action movie and we knew that was always gonna be the thing that made it or broke it would be the success of that story.

 

Q:  Seth, you’re just about to go into the world of superhero films with The Green Hornet, James did you give him any advice about dealing with comic book heroes?

JF:  I hear he’s been working out quite a bit.

SR:  {Laughs} I’ve been telling him, he doesn’t believe me, though.

JF:  It’s like so unnecessary cos they just give you a muscle suit when you do it,

SR: It’s true, there’s a lot of shots of me coming out of pools in slow motion.

JF: Oh, oh okay!

SR: There’s like thirteen shots of that or that’s what I’m working up towards. What can I tell you? We’ve written it, we’re meeting with directors right now. We have a release date of June 2010, I think so you can teleport to the theatre or get there in your flying car, probably, if there’s still a world in 2010. But yeah, we’re looking to make it in around February or March, so, yeah as soon as we get a director we’ll start pre-production, I think.

 

MG: Is Stephen Chow Kato?

SR: No, no, not…..no, not right now. Until we hire a director, it’s kinda hard to cast the entire movie. {Laughs}

 

Q:  Seth, what were the scenes in Zack and Miri Make a Porno that earned the NC-17 rating?

SR:  One of them literally has to do with the amount of thrusts in a sex scene. Apparently, seeing like thirteen thrusts is okay, but if you see seventeen, you’re going to fucking murder someone. And the other one I don’t want to ruin just for sheer comedy’s sake, but to me I honestly don’t feel like it’s anything I haven’t seen some version of in a movie before and when I watch the movie I really am shocked that this of all the movies I’ve been a part of this is the one that gotten it. I mean, we sell weed to like, ten-year-olds in this movie and no one gives a shit, all this movie has to do with is sex and stuff, so to me it’s completely hypocritical that this would get an NC-17 rating.

 

Q:  Seth, when you collaborate on a script, how do you and your co-writers keep your egos outside of the writing process?

SR:  We don’t. We heavily infuse our egos into the writing process. There’s a lot of talk about how funny we are, how great what we’re writing is. And how the world will be changed for the better one this movie is done. And how future generations will learn from our work. {Laughs}

JF: {Cracks up}

SR:   That’s pretty much all we talk about while we’re writing, “Man, there’ll be two phases in history; before when this movie came out and after!”

JF:  And all through the process to the actual premiere. {Laughs}

SR:  And all through the process that’s all we talk about. You guys are witnessing history in the making, guys! They’ll write books and there’ll be murals painted about this one wall. Statues commemorating this moment.

 

MG: I understand you had trouble getting the budget you wanted for the film…

SR: Yeah, we didn’t! {Laughs} To the point where we didn’t! {Laughs}

 

MG:  If you had gotten that budget, what would you have changed or added?

SR:  I gotta say, ultimately when I watched the action, it’s perfect, I couldn’t be happier with it. It’s exciting, it seems real. It seems kind of sloppy to me in all the best ways possible, but they were just kind of a pain in the ass to make. I mean, normally these movies are completely stress-free experiences, but just because we shot a car chase in four day. The Bourne Supremacy shot its car chase in three and half weeks – that just kind of a notion of the schedule we were working on. {To James} Your and Rosie’s fight, I think we shot that in three hours…

JF:  Yeah.

SR:  Normally you get a month to shoot a fight scene on a big action movie. There was a real, you know, the thought that we really just wouldn’t finish everything we wanted to was very present for the days we were doing action. And yeah, it was just kind of a pain in the ass, it was a little stressful, but it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. If we had an extra two weeks to shoot the movie, it would’ve ultimately been a much less stressful experience.

 

Q:  Seth, you’ve quickly become sort of an iconic comedian for your generation, are you conscious of your demo when you’re writing films?

SR:  I always say the only thing we think of when we’re writing these movies is, ‘What do we wanna go see?’ I mean that’s one hundred percent of our motivation. Really, no thought goes into what do other people wanna see, it’s one hundred percent, ‘What movie do we wanna go see right now? What do we wish was in the theatre at this second?’ And that’s really all we do and I feel like, right now I am twenty-six and Evan’s twenty-five, so we’re making movies for twenty-six and twenty-five-year-olds. Maybe when we get older, that sensibility will change and we’ll wanna make the movies that forty-year-olds wanna go see in the theatres. I don’t doubt some forty-year-olds, probably really wanna go see this, but we really are catering to ourselves. {Laughs}

 

MG:  Would you do a sequel for these guys?

JF:  I only wanna play Saul, so yes!

 

 

~ Mighty Ganesha

Aug 4th, 2008

 

Click here for our Movie Review of Pineapple Express!

 

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