Seth Rogen Says He Didn’t Want to Cast Jonah Hill In ‘Superbad’ At First

Superbad has gone down in movie history as one of the greatest teen party comedies ever made. The movie, which stars Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, follows two high school seniors trying to get to a party on the last night of school. The movie is the writing debut of Seth Rogen and his creative partner, Evan Goldberg, and is drawn on their own experiences. Here’s what Rogen had to say about the moments that really happened and how Hill got the part.

Rogen was supposed to play the character of Seth

Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen
Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen | Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Comedy Central

As is obvious to most, the characters of Seth and Evan are, to some degree, based off the real Rogen and Goldberg, since they gave them their names. They started writing the movie together as teenagers, but despite Rogen being an actor, he didn’t get to play the part based on himself.

“It basically took us so long to get the movie made that I aged out of the role essentially. We were 24 by the time we were making the movie and I could not play an 18 year-old convincingly anymore,” Rogen told GQ. However, as we know, he did write himself a part. “So I played this cop that was always in the script. I much more convincingly played a guy in his late 20s who was a really irresponsible cop than a guy who was in his late teens about to enter college.”

Here’s how Jonah won the role

Interestingly enough, the person who did end up playing Seth in only about a year younger than Rogen himself. So how did that occur? As it turns out, Rogen met Jonah when he was cast in a small role in 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and then cast him in Knocked Up, which came out in 2007 just two months before Superbad.

“He kept trying to convince us to put him in Superbad, and we were just like ‘No, you’re too old,’” said Rogen. “I remember one day we had him come into my trailer during [filming for] Knocked Up and filmed him on a camcorder. And it was just so funny. We were like ‘Oh, we were wrong. He can totally do this very well.’”

These scenes came from Rogen’s real life

Rogen has said time and time again that he and Goldberg drew from their own lives for the script. But now, he’s telling us which scenes specifically happened in real life.

“I did stand-up comedy as a kid, so I would hang out with the stand-up comics sometimes when I was, like, 16,” said Rogen. “One time we went to a party at one of their houses and they all started doing coke. And we wound up in a room with these guys who were very threatening towards us,” he said, referring to when the boys end up at a house party and a bunch of men ask Evan to sing for them when they mistake him for someone else.

Another scene from that same party also comes from Rogen’s life. Seth discovers that he has period blood on his pants after dancing with a woman. In real life, the story is a little different.

Rogen and Goldberg were at a high school dance and saw the stain on their friend’s pants while in the locker room. “And then we noticed another group of guys in the other corner of the locker room having the exact same conversation…we kinda pieced together what happened,” he said.

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