Seth Rogen reveals his formula to becoming a successful filmmaker
Seth Rogen lives by a two-part rule. One, when everyone else stops, keep going. Two, don’t become anyone’s biggest problem.
After writing and starring in a string of blockbuster movies like “Superbad” and “Pineapple Express,” Rogen, 37, has also become a respected director and producer, whose latest movie, “Long Shot” pairs him with Charlize Theron.
With just one “disaster” on his resume, “The Green Hornet,” he’s got an impressive track record at the box office. And his attempt at “Hornet” only failed, he suggests in a new interview with GQ, because, he didn’t follow the tried and true formula he developed with his writing and producing partner Evan Goldberg: Stay under studio execs radar with a reasonable budget, and don’t become a nuisance to executives.
“Twenty to thirty-five million dollars is where you’re never going to be their biggest problem. That’s literally what it is,” Rogen told the publication. “As long as they’re making some $150 million movie that’s a f***ing disaster, they’re not paying attention to us. We’re the smartest business decision they made that week, because they just don’t have to worry about us. A lot of our career is just based on not being their biggest headache. Every once in a while, I meet someone, or one of my friends, [who] is their biggest headache, and it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, thanks to you, we can do whatever the f*** we want.’ “
He also carried a major eye-opener with him into adulthood from when he was a kid growing up in Canada, taking karate lessons at the local community center.
“I really always worked hard, because I recognized from a pretty young age it was one of the only things I could control,” Rogen said. “I remember I did karate as a kid, at the Jewish Community Center, and when I started I was the worst in the class, I was the worst of 25 Jewish kids who were afraid of getting picked on. And then just because everyone else quit, three years later I was at the top of the class, and there were 25 Jewish kids who were worse than me. And that was always tangible: Just by not stopping I became the best one. It wasn’t this, like, ferocious leap. I just kept going, and slowly [other] people stopped. Because a lot of people will stop.”
There you have it. Work harder than everyone around you and stay within a reasonable budget. Call it The Seth Rogen School of Success.