‘Pineapple Express’: On the Set with Seth Rogen

Guy love is complicated enough, but what happens when a drug dealer thinks he’s actually friends with his clients? This is just the answer Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg set out to find with their new weed action movie, Pineapple Express.

Hollywood.com and our fellow journalists had a few questions of our own when we met up with Rogen (who stars as Dale in the film) on the set Pineapple out at Downey Studios last year. Read on to find out what his mom thought the first time she found drugs in his backpack, which pot movies inspired him and more …


Hollywood.com: Explain the intricacies of your character Dale’s relationship with his drug dealer Saul.

Seth Rogen:

[Saul] thinks we’re friends, but I just think he’s my pot dealer. And throughout the movie it comes out that I don’t actually even like him. I just kind of pretend to be nice to him because he sells really good weed. But he really thinks that we’re friends and kind of really wants to be friends. And then I kinda slowly realize that he’s actually my only friend!

HW: How did you guys come up with this story?


[Judd Apatow] had the notion that there was a process server for some reason, which we went with, that witnesses a murder. And the notion, basically, was: Would you quit smoking weed if your life literally depended on it. That was kind of our starting off point. And then it really turned into this kind of examination of drug dealer/drug buyer relationship and how awkward that could be. All our movies are thinly veiled homoerotic love stories. And this is no exception.

HW: We’ve seen Saul, aka your costar James Franco, running around here in quite the get up, is that traditional drug dealer fashion?


Seems like it. Guatemalan pants and a funny t-shirt, the t-shirt’s amazing…It’s a shark eating a cat.

HW: What about those long locks, that’s a new look for him?


Yeah, his hair’s amazing. What’s funny is, it’s like a wig and I always forget it’s a wig. It’s like, I feel like I have a hard time talking to him without the wig on [laughs]. He’s much more accessible with that wig for some reason. Without it, it’s like, that’s James Franco man, that’s the Green Goblin [laughs], but with it, he’s just some stupid pothead [laughs].

HW: How did David Gordon Green adapt to comedy, after all those indie flicks?


I don’t know if you’ve seen Snow Angels, but it’s one of the most depressing movies I’ve ever seen in my life I think. And what’s funny is I hadn’t even seen his movies when we hired him. I met him and I know a lot of people that are obsessed with his movies. I met him and I thought this guy’s f*cking rad! Let’s hire him. And then I went and watched his movies and I’m like, wow, I hope we didn’t blow it [laughs].

HW: Pineapple Express is a fake type of weed, how did you come up with the name?


It was literally in high school; Evan came up to me one day and was like, ‘I just learned about this weather system called the Pineapple Express. It’s a warm wind that comes in from Hawaii and affects the west coast of North America.’

HW: Were you inspired by any other “pot” movies, like Half Baked?


I love Half Baked and I loved Dazed and Confused. But, you know, it’s interesting with weed movies; I mean like, a lot of them function well as weed movies and that’s it…That’s kind of where we had to be cautious here, I mean obviously this movie is made for people who love weed [laughs] but not everyone does.

HW: Is you’re mom is comfortable with the subject matter?


She’s fine, she’s found enough weed in my drawer in high school to know [laughs] what’s happening. I got a job; she can’t worry about me anymore. But I gotta say she’s the one who really sparked my love for action movies. I mean, Die Hard is her favorite movie of all time. So I had a healthy diet of Paul Verhoeven and John McTiernan growing up. [laughs]

HW: How did she react the first time she found weed in your drawer?


Not well. It started with a bang actually. What’s funny is they’d never found anything on me and then like the last day of grade eight, they found an ounce of mushrooms in my backpack. They weren’t even mine, I wasn’t taking them. I was kind a middleman [laughs]. And so that was like, very jarring to go from never… like she never caught me drinking or anything, to find an ounce of mushroom so I think, beyond that, finding a joint here or there, was like, a least he doesn’t have a f*cking ounce of hallucinogens [laughs].

HW: So it worked out well.


Exactly! Now I know… message for the kids, start out with something horrible, scale it back after that [laughs].

Check out the rest of our Pineapple Express set visit coverage!