Seth Rogen: ‘The Interview’ Caused ‘Seismic Shifts’ in Hollywood

The 2014 Kim Jong Un assassination spoof starring James Franco and Randall Park ignited North Korea’s terror threats and the infamous Sony email hack.

Seth Rogen is finally ready to tackle the infamous legacy of “The Interview” nearly a decade later.

Hawk vs. presented by MALKA Media. During the Wolf podcast, Rogen opened up to co-hosts Tony Hawk and Jason Ellis about the “disastrous” aftermath of the controversial 2014 comedy about the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“At the time it was really bad and really disastrous,” Rogen recalled. “People we know have been fired from it. The head of the studio (Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal) was essentially fired from it. It was a really seismic shift in Hollywood at the time, and I think in some ways how business was done.”

The Interview starred James Franco as a talk show host who travels to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong Un (Randall Park) for an exclusive interview. However, the CIA recruits him and his TV producer (Rogen) to assassinate the dictator instead. Sony Pictures canceled the film’s wide release on December 25, 2014, due to North Korean leaders calling the film a “plot of war” and the subsequent hacking of Sony emails by the allegedly North Korean-based Guardians of Led by the hacker group Peace. Before the film’s New York premiere, digital threats of a 9/11-style attack also surfaced. Interview was acquired by Netflix and started streaming a month after the original hit theaters.

“It showed a kind of success for a movie when you have a full theatrical campaign and it goes to streaming right away,” Rogen said. “It was streamed on Google, and I think it’s still the biggest movie ever streamed on Google, which is crazy. I have students come to me and say this is what they teach in college. It was wild.”

In a personal comment, the “Fabelmans” star added: “He’s really recalibrated what I think is controversy. After that I was like, now I know what it’s like. Unless the president holds a press conference about it, it’s moot. If someone gets mad about it on social media, that’s not a debate. That the UN should make a statement about this is contradictory.”

However, according to Rogen, the long-term “loss” was not as harmful as he expected.

“We were able to continue filming,” he said. “What’s crazy on television right now is on FX at 2 p.m. It used to be the most controversial thing in the world, and now I turn the channels on a Sunday afternoon and they just play. I was concerned that it might cause a longer-lasting loss than it was.”

At the time, Rogen he joked that “People usually don’t want to kill me for one of my movies until they’ve paid $12 for it,” following death threats against him and other Interview stars.

As long as it’s on The Graham Norton ShowOverall, Rogen called “The Interview” a “horrible experience.”

“It’s wrong to blame for the fact that the war almost broke out. It’s not fun; it’s very strange, Rogen said in 2016. “I had personal security and then one day they just left. I thought I was safe now. The studio gave security to the filmmakers in case someone from North Korea killed us. And then literally, one day, they just left… The studio just didn’t want to pay more for security.”


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