From explaining why he looks up to Kanye West, to how he felt about promoting the 2006 comedy You, Me and Dupree, to why he feels the certain scenes in The 40-Year-Old Virgin don’t really stand the test of time, the 37-year-old Canadian native spoke candidly about some of the most intriguing elements of his career. Find the highlights below.
On Kanye West-level confidence leading to career breakthroughs
“I do look at Kanye and I remember the truth is at first, people were like, ‘Why you making shoes, man? Just make music. [West’s] shoes are great. People love them. He’s made adidas billions of dollars. So there is something to be said for staying in your lane, but sometimes people do really great outside of their lane.”
On why ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ doesn’t work so well today
“I think if you actually care, then it’s easy. We do not want people to feel bad when they’re watching our movies. I’ve had people come up to me and be like, ‘That made me feel like shit when I was in the movie theater and everyone was laughing about that.’ Like the ‘How I know you’re gay’ thing [from The 40-Year-Old Virgin], it’s something people have been like, ‘It’s not fun to be in the theater when people are laughing at that, knowing what they’re probably actually laughing at.’ And I don’t want anyone to have that experience watching our movies.”
On promoting ‘You, Me and Dupree’
“It’s awkward to promote a movie that you yourself would not be that excited to go see. I remember You, Me and Dupree was the first time I had to do that, and that movie’s fine, I just didn’t love it. It honestly was not a movie I would have gone out to go see … When you’re also morally corrupting yourself, it’s a real bummer.”
On ‘Green Hornet’ backlash
“It was a bummer, and I always hate being the center of thousands of articles telling you how fucking shitty you are—that’s not fun. But if you can get through that, which I have, many times, then you can just keep working. Again, that’s the thing: You just keep working. With the hope that in general I will produce more good work than bad work, and that will hopefully carry me onwards.”
On staying humble
“I think on the grand scale of humans, I have friends who are constantly reminding me that I have very little insight into the struggles of the average person. It’s not lost on me that there are massive elements of life that I just don’t have to deal with. I’m aware of it, but it limits the amount of true grounding I can have, I think. At the same time, I do think I try to steer away from being a crazy person as much as humanly possible, in an active way.”
Read the entire interview with Rogen over on GQ now.