Actor Seth Rogen spent 10 months growing out his beard just to shoot one additional scene for his new movie An American Pickle.
The Pineapple Express star takes on double duty in the film, which is based on 2013 New Yorker novella Sell Out, about 1920s factory worker Herschel Greenbaum, who falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years, only to emerge in his great-grandson’s modern-day New York without having aged a day.
Rogen grew out his facial hair to play Herschel first and then went clean-shaven to portray the great-grandson, Ben.
“We shot the movie as Herschel and then I shaved,” he explained in a digital premiere for An American Pickle. “Then we doubled back and re-shot the whole movie with me as Ben.”
However, when filmmakers later came up with an extra quip to insert into his performance as Herschel, Rogen insisted on sporting his own beard, even though it would take months to replicate.
“We thought of one joke… and I grew a beard for 10 months so that we could go back and film it,” he shared.
And Rogen reveals he was determined not to use props or computer-generated imagery to fake his facial hair onscreen because he was appalled at the way Chris Hemsworth‘s beard looked in the last Avengers blockbuster, in which he played Thor.
“You watch Avengers: Endgame and the worst-looking part of a movie with interdimensional warfare is Thor’s beard,” he chuckled of the 2019 movie.
An American Pickle is directed by Brandon Trost from a screenplay penned by Simon Rich, the original author of Sell Out. It premiered on U.S. streaming service HBO Max on Friday (August 7, 2020).