Seth Rogen Gets Brutally Honest About Negative Reviews: Film Critics Should Know ‘How Much It Hurts….It F—ing Sucks’
Seth Rogen got brutally honest about film critics during a discussion about mental health and self-doubt on the “Diary of a CEO” podcast. The comedian told host Steven Bartlett that negative reviews from critics “hurt everyone very much.”
“I think if most critics knew how much it hurts the people that made the things that they are writing about, they would second guess the way they write these things,” Rogen said. “It’s devastating. I know people who have never recovered from it honestly – a year, decades of being hurt by [film reviews]. It’s very personal…It is devastating when you are being institutionally told that your personal expression was bad, and that’s something that people carry with them, literally, their entire lives and I get why. It fucking sucks.”
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Bartlett brought up Michel Gondry’s 2011 superhero comedy “The Green Hornet,” which starred Rogen as the eponymous hero opposite Jay Chou and Cameron Diaz. The film bombed with critics, earning a 44% on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave “Green Hornet” one star and called it “an almost unendurable demonstration of a movie with nothing to be about,” while The Guardian’s pan said that “almost everything about the film is disappointing.”
“For ‘Green Hornet,’ the reviews were coming out and it was pretty bad,” Rogen said. “People hated it. People were taking joy in disliking it a lot. But it opened to like $35 million, which was the biggest opening weekend I’d ever been associated with at that point. It did pretty well. That’s what is nice sometimes. You can grasp for some sense of success at times.”
Rogen said it was “more painful” to endure the negative reviews for his infamous 2014 comedy “The Interview” because “people were taking joy in talking shit about it and questioning the types of people that would want to make a movie like that.”
“That felt far more personal,” Rogen said. “‘Green Hornet’ felt like I had fallen victim to a big fancy thing. That was not so such much a creative failure on our parts but a conceptual failure. ‘The Interview,’ people treated us like we creatively failed and that sucked.”
Rogen said he used to deal with negative reviews by treating himself to a nice dinner or heading out to his beach house. He added, “Any opening weekend, it sucks. It’s stressful. It’s like birth, it’s an inherently painful process.” For Rogen, the best way to move past film critics is to just keep working.
“That’s another funny thing about making movies…life goes on,” the comedian said. “You can be making another movie as your [current] movie is bombing, which is a funny thing. It’s bittersweet. You know things will be ok. You’re already working. If the fear is the movie bombs and you wont get hired again, well you don’t have to worry about it. But it’s an emotional conundrum at times.”
Rogen most recently earned glowing reviews for Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” which is Oscar-nominated for best picture. The actor next 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’s also an executive producer on “Mutant Mayhem.”
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