With a floundering economy, many of us are getting creative and thinking of ways to generate some extra cash. Taking on a second job, perhaps. Auctioning off grandma’s fine china on eBay. Or how about making your very own porno movie? Well, that’s the genesis behind writer/director Kevin Smith’s newest flick, Zack and Miri Make a Porno — a movie Smith proudly says is, “very direct and dirty, but it’s sweet.” The story centers around Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks), two lifelong friends and roommates knee-deep in financial woes. When the electricity and plumbing are about to be shut off during mid-winter in Pittsburgh, they decide the only way to make some quick cash and get out of their financial funk is to make a homemade porno. “This is a dirty movie,” says Rogen. “There’s literally assholes in this movie. A lot of people figuratively say their movies have assholes in it — like actors or grips who behave like assholes. Our movie actually has an asshole in it.” I sat down with Rogen to talk about Zack and Miri, what Hollywood celebrity he would want to make a porno with, why John Cassavetes would have made great porno, and perhaps one non-porn-related question.
What did you first think of the script when you read it?
I thought it was funny and wanted to do it. I’ve always wanted to work with Kevin Smith. It has been a goal of mine. I was very flattered when Kevin offered the role to me, and it was shocking that he even knew who I was. When someone you really like wants to work with you, and it’s also someone who inspired you to do what you do in the first place, it’s thrilling.
You’ve had numerous highly successful collaborations with Judd Apatow, like Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin. What are the similarities and differences between working with Apatow and Kevin Smith?
Their movies tonally are similar—a mix of raunchiness and sweetness. However, their styles on-set are very different. It’s as simple as Judd doesn’t really know what he wants. He knows what he wants the scenes to be about, but as far as how the information comes out—who says what and what the jokes are—he discovers all of that while we’re shooting. On the other hand, Kevin is very specific and he knows exactly what he wants. He knows what the shots are, and he literally edits the movie. That’s the fundamental difference, and they’re both great.
Because of almost all of the movies you have acted in, many women are saying that these days, they’re more attracted to nerdy romantic guys.
Do you enjoy playing these types of roles?
Yeah, I just try to do movies that I would like to go see. I think romantic comedies, when handled right, can be a really great genre.
There is a really funny high school reunion scene in Zack and Miri. Have you been to your high school reunion yet?
It’s still two years to my ten-year reunion. I would never go. I’d be such a dick. “Guess what I do, guys?!”
Any old friends or high-school crushes you would want to see?
No. I see everyone I want to see from high school, and I have stopped talking to everyone I don’t.
For the complete interview click here.