P ineapple Express stars James Franco (at left) and Seth Rogen began their acting careers on the 1999 Paul Feig and Judd Apatow TV series Freaks and Geeks. When the show was canceled after its first season, they went their separate ways.
"They're complete opposites in almost every way. Seth is an extroverted comedian, the magnificent life of the party, quick-witted, the guy who has everyone rolling," says Pineapple director David Gordon Green.
"James is very introverted, constantly at school, reading English literature, soft-spoken and thoughtful. They're an odd couple, by disposition and physically, too, which, of course, is great for laughs."
Pineapple Express, in theaters, is billed as a stoner action-comedy, but it's really a buddy movie (with feelings!) about a pot dealer (Franco) and his favorite client (Rogen) forced to go on the lam from an angry drug lord.
Here they talk about stoner authenticity and Guatemalan pants.
It's funny the number of people who assume you guys must have been high while making this movie.
Rogen: Yeah, I don't know if these people have ever seen a Cheech and Chong movie. But ... you don't want to smoke weed when you're making movies.
Franco: I've been on a couple of movies where an actor comes in intoxicated. It's ridiculous.
When I saw the movie, Seth, you got a huge ovation for that giant smoke ring you blew.
Franco: It's like a delayed reaction. People see it and go, "Oh, my God."
Rogen: That reaction amazes me. Me and [ co-writer] Evan [Goldberg], when we're writing, the thing we talk about the most is what reaction we want to elicit from the audience. And it just goes to show, you can talk for hours and hours and never predict what people will respond to. Never in a billion years did I figure people would ... cheer for that smoke ring.
Franco: Hours of research paid off!
Rogen: I think that's what people like so much. You see that and you're, like, "That guy smokes weed!"
Does that mean the "cross joint," billed as the "apex of the vortex of joint engineering," comes from personal experience?
Rogen: Yeah, we smoked those in high school. We were shocked it wasn't in a movie before.
And yet, Judd considers this to be an "antiweed" movie?
Rogen: I don't see that. I think if you smoke weed at all, you will watch this movie and want to go home and smoke a cross joint. That being said, I don't think you look at our characters and think, "Those are the guys I want to be."
Franco: Yeah. I don't think there's going to be a run on Guatemalan pants.
Rogen: I wouldn't call this a gateway movie. But, it's not Half Baked, either. At the end of that, there's a very strong anti-weed moment, and I always thought that was weird.
You mentioned the Guatemalan pants, James, that you wear throughout the film. I understand you wanted Puma sweats?
Rogen: And hotel slippers!
Franco: Well, yeah. On Spider-Man, costumes were a big thing. On this, it was like, "Is it the $25 Pumas or the $35 Guatemalan pants?"
I thought hotel slippers would be cool, but then there's so much action ... that Judd said, basically, "You're an idiot if you wear those."