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Friendly collaboration, ribbing in 'This Is The End'

June 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The new comedy "This Is The End" opened with 2,000 midnight screenings overnight and earned a solid $2.2 million doing so. The film also marks the directorial debut of actor Seth Rogen, who recruited a slew of his high-profile friends to take part in the movie. They're playing themselves at the end of the world.

A sleepover -- during the apocalypse: Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, James Franco and Danny McBride are part of the team of actors, and friends, who said yes to the slightly unorthodox concept for the movie.

Co-writers, co-producers and co-directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg wanted their famous friends to play outrageous versions of themselves.

"This isn't one of those ideas you can just kind of pitch as an idea, you kind of need to give a pretty good indicator of exactly how you're going to execute it," said Rogen.

While Seth and Evan co-wrote a script, they also allowed their talented, comedy-driven pals plenty of room to play.

"Every scene there was a ton of improv. You got Seth and Jonah going at it, and you have to jump in where you fit in," said Craig Robinson. "And there's a bunch of cameos that weren't even written. They just went for it."

The actors all know each other well. And that allowed them to poke fun at one another based on their assumed Hollywood personas -- even if it sometimes stung.

"When you're sort of constantly riffing and the gist of it is based on your personal relationships with these people, I think, yeah, inevitably something's going to hit a button or hit a bit too close to home, but you're making a movie and it's supposed to be fun and funny so you take it on the chin and you can't ever think too much," said Jay Baruchel.

"It's therapeutic, if anything," said Craig.

"And you get to say it back to the other guy," said Seth.

"This Is The End" also features a fun cameo by Emma Watson. Plus you'll see Rihanna, Michael Cera, Aziz Ansari, Jason Segel, Mindy Kaling, and other surprise guests. It's rated "R" and is in theaters Wednesday.


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