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Seth Rogen on pot, politics, and the making of his new movie <em>An American Pickle</em>

American Pickle
Old World
Encino Man
the World Trade Center
Julie & Julia

Seth Rogen
Herschel Greenbaum
Nora Ephron
Simon Rich
Fred Ward
Bette Midler
Lily Tomlin
John Malkovich
John Malkovich’s

Encino Man
Brad Pitt
Julie & Julia
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Los Angeles

World War II

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Seth Rogen is a man of many occupations: actor, writer, director, freelance ceramicist.But he&apos;s never been his own costar, until now; his latest, An American Pickle (premiering Thursday on HBO Max), which he also produced, finds the actor playing both a (literally) pickled Old World immigrant named Herschel Greenbaum and his own millennial great grandson, a soft-handed app developer called Ben.Via phone from his home in Los Angeles, Rogen, 38, spoke to EW about the film — as well as his thoughts on fake beards, fermentation, and the enduring genius of Nora Ephron, among other things.ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Most of your movies tend to come from original screenplays, but Pickle is based on a 2013 short story by Simon Rich, "Sell Out." What grabbed you about it?SETH ROGEN: I knew Simon from Saturday Night Live, that was how I first met him. [Laughs] I would say the only drastic decision that was made early on was that I refused to wear a fake beard or a wig at any point in the movie, because I watch the most expensive movies on earth and they still have terrible beards, and I just knew that there would be no way to reconcile it, they simply look bad.Like, the world thinks they’ve figured out good fake beards and I hate to say I don’t think it’s true, you know? That’s what I like to see!" [Laughs]It’s just something that I always think is so interesting, when you’re from a time that is so much harder and worse than how things are in so many ways, what is an accomplishment and what isn’t becomes very skewed.And that I think is something we also wanted to show — that the things that Ben is proud of, Herschel doesn’t care about. [Laughs]There are things in our films that I look back on and I’m like, "Well that ranges from debatable to outright objectionable!" I know our heart was in the right place and we were always trying honestly to be on the progressive side of things but we failed spectacularly at times.[But] I don’t look back and think, "Do I wish we could re-edit our movies?" I mean if anything, we should have to live with the fact that we did it and let people point out that it was terrible and we’ll just have to deal with it, you know?Obviously this is something many filmmakers are dealing with now, but how did you feel initially about Pickle moving from a more expected movie-theater situation straight to HBO?It’s definitely a bit of a bummer, because obviously when we make movies we generally are gearing them toward a theatrical release. There’s an incredibly silly version of this movie, and then there’s the much more I would say grief-driven one, and I think that was surprising to some people that were in our test screenings because they had not seen or heard anything about the movie other than knowing it’s about me being pickled for a 100 years, so they were expecting a much sillier version of that type of movie. And I say that as like a complete lifelong Nora Ephron fanatic, but I watched it recently and it was amazing how they dealt with that, where Amy Adams’s character is working at an insurance company or whatever and dealing with people in the wake of 9/11.It was so interesting how it played out, I thought, and also really funny and really sad, all of that — it was just perfect in the way that Nora Ephron was  great at being.You have to acknowledge these things that happen if you live in the world that it exists in, that the audience exists in, you know?

As said here by Leah Greenblatt