Seth Rogen got brutally honest about movie reviews during a discussion of mental health and self-doubt on the podcast “Diary of a CEO”. The comedian told host Steven Bartlett that the negative reviews from critics “hurt everyone a lot.”
“I think if most critics knew how much it hurts the people who did the things they write about, they’d guess the way they write those things,” Rogen said. “It’s devastating. I know people who have never honestly recovered – a year, decades of being hurt by [film reviews]. It’s very personal… It’s devastating when you’re told in institutions that your self-expression was bad, and that’s something that people carry with them, literally, their entire lives and I understand why. It’s fucking shit.
Bartlett referred to Michel Gondry’s superhero comedy in 2011 “The green hornetwhich starred Rogen as the eponymous hero opposite Jay Chou and Cameron Diaz. The film bombarded with reviews, earning 44% on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave “Green Hornet” a star and called it “an almost insufferable demonstration of a movie with no reason to exist”, while The Keeper’s Pot said that “almost everything about the film is underwhelming”.
“For ‘Green Hornet,’ the reviews were coming out and it was pretty bad,” Rogen said. “People hated it. People took pleasure in not liking him very much. But it opened at around $35 million, which was the biggest opening weekend I had ever been associated with at that time. It worked pretty well. That’s what’s nice sometimes. You can capture a certain sense of success at times.
Rogen said it was “more painful” to endure negative reviews for his infamous 2014 comedy “The Interview” because “people enjoyed talking about it and wondering about the kinds of people who would make a film like this”.
“It felt a lot more personal,” Rogen said. “’Green Hornet’ felt like I had fallen victim to some big fancy thing. It wasn’t so much a creative failure on our part as a conceptual failure. “The Interview,” people treated us like we failed creatively and it sucked.
Rogen said he used to deal with negative reviews by treating himself to a nice dinner or going to his beach house. He added: “Any opening weekend sucks. It’s stressful. It’s like birth, it’s an inherently painful process. For Rogen, the best way to beat movie critics is to keep working.
“That’s another fun thing about making movies…life goes on,” the comedian said. “You can make another movie like your [current] the film is a bombing, which is a funny thing. It’s bittersweet. You know everything will be fine. You are already working. If you’re scared of movie bombs and you won’t be hired again, you don’t have to worry about it. But sometimes it’s an emotional conundrum.
Rogen recently received rave reviews for Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. The actor then lends his voice to Donkey Kong in “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (in theaters April 5) and Bebop in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” (in theaters August 4). He is also an executive producer of “Mutant Mayhem”.