Seth Rogen Felt Like He ‘Won the Lottery’ After ‘Freaks and Geeks’

Seth Rogen felt as though he’d won the lottery even after his seminal series, Freaks and Geeks was canceled.

He recalled how at age 18, the series set him up with some cash and connections. But also the ability to be a little more discerning during auditions – which included turning down an offer to appear in a CW series.

Seth Rogen said he made a lot of money during the first season of ‘Freaks and Geeks’

Rogen laughed about how creator Judd Apatow felt responsible for bringing cast into a series that was canceled after a single season. “Yeah, it’s interesting,” Rogen said on The Off Camera Show. “Like, I think I look back and I think about how little perspective I had in a lot of ways. You know, like, I made more money that year than my whole family had throughout their entire lives. So the fact that it was canceled after a year wasn’t like it was a bummer, but it wasn’t like, Oh, no, I’m *****. It was like, and I won the lottery basically like I had no expectations. Yeah, very low expectations.”

Seth Rogen recalled how Freaks and Geeks set him up financially to explore his career as an actor
Seth Rogen recalled how Freaks and Geeks set him up financially to explore his career as an actor| NBCU Photo Bank

“And if anything, what was nice is like, oh, now I live in L.A., I know a bunch of people,” he continued. “I’m 18. I have enough money to last for a couple years if I don’t spend very much of it at all on anything. And so it was a bummer. But at the same time, it wasn’t this catastrophic, like my life is over. It’s like there was some sense of like, oh maybe we’ll be we’ll all be able to keep going, you know?”

The ‘Freaks and Geeks’ cast knew the show was going to be canceled

Rogen also had time to prepare for the show to be canceled. “But we saw it coming a mile and a half away. Like it wasn’t a shock by any means,” he recalled. “It wasn’t this slow death where people are like hacking away. We would joke with each other. We’d always call each other pretending to be the heads of NBC canceling the show. Like ‘Yeah, the show is canceled.’ And so it wasn’t big news.”

The show’s cancelation didn’t crush Rogen’s spirit either. He was in Donnie Darko at the time. Plus, he laughed about how he spent some time not getting cast in anything. However, he landed a role in a CW sitcom that he ended up turning down.

“I got cast actually on like a network sitcom that I declined the role after they cast me because it was like a CW sitcom. And I’m like, I don’t want to do this, basically,” he laughed. “So I that was my only career trajectory. The plan was like, I just don’t want to do something that sucks, you know? And that resulted in me just doing nothing for a long time.”

But the ‘Freaks and Geeks’ cash set him up to explore his career

But Rogen emphasized that the money he made during that single Freaks and Geeks season gave him the freedom to explore his career as an actor. “As long as I had money to live, then I was fine, really,” he said.

And while he seems to take a pretty relaxed view of his career, he admits he worries. “I worry how it’s all going to turn out,” he said. “It’s funny, I look at those decisions and they are not hard decisions for me. Like, I see how something like that could have been a hard decision.”

But, “Not doing a sitcom was such an easier choice to make than potentially being trapped on a sitcom,” he said. “And so like I in my head, it wasn’t like, ‘Man, I’m really going to bet on me.’ It was just like my life might be terrible for years because of this. It isn’t this like big, like bold moment. II remember they were just like, they want you to be on the show, and I was like, I can’t do it.”

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