At the Los Angeles press junket for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Rogen contrasted the work of Smith with another one of Rogen's favorite filmmakers, Judd Apatow (writer/director Knocked Up). "I have ways I’ve done things but I’m totally open to new things," explained Rogen about the process of working with Smith. "I’m more than happy to hand myself over to someone, and I think it’s interesting to see what they do. Judd goes into a movie and he has no idea what he wants. He knows what the scenes are about, but he doesn’t necessarily know how any of the information comes out or who says it or how it’s said or what the shots are. He doesn’t know any of that. Kevin knows exactly what the shots are and he says, ‘What?’ and you can change the jokes within that, but he basically knows how he wants the scene to go."
So whose style works best? "They both have their merits. They both have things that make them so difficult," said Rogen, diplomatically.
Rogen's gathering up a batch of screenwriter credits, but with Zack and Miri Make a Porno he only had to do one job – act. Everything else was in Smith's hands. "It was really interesting to go into this totally other world and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t have to think as much. That was a lot nicer. Just going in every day not having to come up with 13 hours of s**t, that was nice. And it was interesting to see how someone directs who has shots planned out. That was interesting also. Yeah, I liked it a lot."
On Nudity and Pushing the LimitsRogen has a sex scene in Zack and Miri, albeit one that's not nearly as graphic as the sex scenes featuring his co-stars Traci Lords, Katie Morgan and Jason Mewes. And Rogen, who still has a hard time considering himself a romantic leading man, was fine playing his part in a porno opposite Elizabeth Banks as Miri. "Luckily or not, we didn’t have to go too far. I didn’t know what Kevin expected of us. I didn’t really care. I was ready for anything. I have no shame about it. It’s fine."
The fact he was working with Banks, an actress he'd worked with before and actually suggested for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, helped to put him at ease. "I met her on The 40-Year Old Virgin is when I met her. It was in 2005 I guess? Maybe 2004 when we shot it? We got along well, and she’s friends with Paul Rudd, you know those 'Stella' guys, and I kind of know those people so we’d hang out and see each other, and we got along really well. She kind of has a dirty sense of humor and I always thought it was crazy she wasn’t in these kinds of movies, that she wasn’t the main girl in a romantic comedy," said Rogen.
Asked if there's anything he won't do in a movie, Rogen replied, "If it’s funny, yeah, I will probably do it. If I genuinely think it’s funny, there is a good chance I’ll do it. Don’t hold me to that!"
Research Wasn't Necessary for PornoRogen's not exactly unfamiliar with the porn movie genre and wouldn't be offended if someone labeled his knowledge as encyclopedic. And just because everyone wants to know this, Rogen's favorite porn involves a big-breasted Hollywood celeb. "That Pam Anderson sex tape was pretty rad when that came out. That was kind of like a dream come true when it happened. It was like, ‘Really? That happened? Wow! I get to see what?' That was pretty good."
In the film, Banks and Rogen toss out good titles for porn videos – all of which are take-offs of popular movies. One of the best titles they come up with is Star Whores complete with new character names that are, of course, X-rated. Rogen doesn't believe there really is a Star Whores video and was shocked Smith was able to include a porno version of George Lucas' Star Wars in the script. Asked about filming the scene of the 'porn' stars in Star Wars-ish costumes, Rogen said, "It was hilarious and I was surprised they were able to do it. I guess he got permission from George Lucas or otherwise we would have been sued promptly. Yeah, I thought it was hilarious and I know so many people will masturbate to that scene in the future. So many. There will be lots of freeze frames of Katie [Morgan] in that outfit."
Up Next for One of Hollywood's Busiest ActorsRogen wrapped shooting the Warner Bros comedy Observe and Report earlier this year, and according to all reports on Observe and Report, it turned out a little different than people might have expected. "Well, it’s the exact movie we wanted to make," explained Rogen. "It’s a super dark comedy. It’s really dark. It’s like Taxi Driver. It’s like a comedic Taxi Driver. That’s literally what we wanted to make. Jody [Hill, writer/director] and I sat down and we were like, ‘We want to make a comedic Taxi Driver. If Martin Scorsese put me in a movie and wanted it to be kind of funny, but still very dark.’ And that’s exactly what it is and I love it. I think as a film fan I watch it and go, ‘How in the hell did we get away with this?’ It is f--kin’ crazy. It is by far the most edgy movie I’ve been in. The most balls to the walls and most unabashed movie I’ve been in. But I love it. I could watch it over and over and over again."