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At 25, you’ve appeared in movies like Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and You, Me and Dupree; now you’re starring in your own feature, Knocked Up. How did a kid from Point Grey Secondary end up in Hollywood? I started doing stand-up when I was 13. I performed at the Urban Well a lot, Yuk Yuks and Laff Lines. Guys like Brent Butt helped me out.
What kind of material did you do at 13? I just talked about my life: dating, trying to get with girls, my grandparents, getting a driver’s license. When I was 16, I auditioned for Freaks and Geeks. I got cast. And then I moved to L.A.
In Knocked Up, you team up again with director Judd Apatow on a movie about a stoner who gets a woman pregnant in a one-night stand. How did that come about? Judd wanted to make a movie where I had a more leading-type role. We had a lot of conversations, and this was one idea that came out. He has kids and I’m very awkward around them. I had a lot of insight into the fear and anxiety I’d face if I actually got someone pregnant.
Knocked Up is your first starring role. Was it a challenge to convince a studio to allow you to play the lead? Were you nervous about it? After 40-Year-Old Virgin, we had a really good relationship with Universal. And Judd had already put a supporting guy, Steve Carell, in the forefront, and it worked wonders. Yeah, it was nerve-wracking, but I tried to approach it scene by scene.
You’ve also written for Undeclared and Da Ali G Show. Were you a writer before you were an actor? In high school, me and my writing partner Evan Goldberg started writing this movie Superbad. When I was on Freaks and Geeks, I gave it to Judd to read. No one wanted to make it, but because of it I got hired as a writer on Undeclared. After Undeclared was cancelled, I wrote some other screenplays around that time. It was several years after Undeclared that we got hooked up with Sacha Baron Cohen and me and Evan started writing for Ali G.
What are you doing right now? Eating lunch on the set.
You’re working on a movie? Pineapple Express. I play a process server who witnesses a murder and ends up going on the run with a pot dealer to avoid being killed.
You’re about to become the biggest Vancouver movie star since Michael J. Fox, who has a theatre named after him in Burnaby. If you had a public place in Vancouver named after you, what would it be? Probably the Seth Rogen Public Restroom.
So now that you’ve done a Q&A for Vancouver magazine, what’s left? Nothing. I’ve got nothing under my hat after this.