Seth Rogen's role in "50/50" is loosely based on the actor's real-life friendship with the screenwriter Will Reiser and Rogen admitted that he used his friend's "unfortunate situation" to woo his current girlfriend.
"I think I actually did meet my girlfriend while he was sick and I think, I mean we're still together, but honestly, I think I did play up the fact that my buddy was in an unfortunate situation and that made me look sympathetic," Rogen said in an interview provided by Summit Entertainment.
In "50/50," Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a young man with his whole life ahead of him when he's diagnosed with cancer. With the help of his best friend (played by Seth Rogen), he manages to deal with the disease by finding humor in unexpected places. The film also stars Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Houston.
"The story's about a young, neurotic guy who lives in Seattle and he is kind of not the type of person who is well-equipped to deal with some sort of horrible news, it seems like and he finds out he has cancer," Rogen explained. "Meanwhile, he has a girlfriend who is kind of not right for him and he puts a lot of pressure on the relationship and his mother is a little crazy herself and I'm his friend and I kind of just use the disease for myself to have a good time. Yeah, it's just basically about this guy who gets sick and kind of the storm it creates around him and how everyone just kind of develops a little tiny bit from it."
Rogen and his producer and friend Evan Goldberg met Reiser while they were working on Sacha Baron Cohen's "Da Ali G Show," around the time that Reiser was getting sick. Rogen and Goldberg encouraged Reiser to turn his experiences into a script.
"My character's kind of based on the dumbest version of what I was acting like at the time that he was sick," Rogen continued. "My character cares but doesn't know how to articulate it or act around it, so he just kind of tries to make light of it and maximize often and try to have fun off of it, which is at its core is a good attitude -- to try to look at the bright side of things and see what good things could come of it -- but I think my character's rather insensitive about it and I think I was too -- it's literally what I was doing, I was telling him to write a movie about it! Try to have fun with it!"
Though Rogen joked that he wasn't as supportive as he could have been in the situation, it appears that his character came from a very real place.
"Yeah, he tries to help his friend by just making him have fun, like 'This could be the time you could go out and try to meet girls' and 'I think you should dump your girlfriend' and kind of do all the things I've been wanting him to do and I kind of see this as the big opportunity to kind of do them and live a little basically," Rogen said. "Again, it's kind of a nice idea, but I don't think that my character approaches it as diplomatically as one should in those situations."
Rogen got his start on the popular but short-lived Judd Apatow TV series, "Freaks and Geeks." He has since written and starred in movies like "Pineapple Express," "Superbad" and "The Green Hornet."
The actor proposed to his girlfriend, writer Lauren Miller in September 2010. The couple also met on "Da Ali G Show" and have been dating since 2004.
"50/50" was released in theaters on September 30, watch a trailer below.