You can’t help but laugh when Seth Rogen laughs. Just like his easy going and down to earth attitude, it’s contagious. And after chatting with him for even a few minutes, it’s easy to see why he’s become such a beloved figure in Hollywood.
From his very first role in the Judd Apatow series Freaks and Geeks, to hit comedies like Superbad and Pineapple Express, the Canadian comedian, 36, has worked hard to make a name for himself. But recently, he proudly watched his director wife, Lauren Miller Rogen, take the spotlight as he played a supporting role in her first feature film, Like Father. “I honestly really like having smaller roles in movies, it [takes the pressure of]” says Seth – who plays Kristen Bell’s Canadian love interest Jeff in the film (available on Netflix now). “The character was funny. It was nice to play a sweeter, kind of nicer, maybe a little more emotionally available person than I have played in the past,” he added, in between bouts of laughter, of course.
Here, the actor chats candidly with Hello! about working with Lauren, 37, on the set of her film (the two have been married for almost 7 years), reveals his Canadian-isms and spills the beans on his latest gig: being the newest voice for Vancouver transit.
What was it like acting in your wife's first feature film? It was amazing. Everyone liked and respected her and she had a very clear vision. And as an actor it was great – she directed me and I think made my performance better than it would have been. It was overall thrilling to watch and I was just so happy for her.
Karaoke plays a big part in the movie. Do you have a go-to song? I like to do 90s Disney songs – like The Little Mermaid– because everyone knows them [Laughs]. Everyone can sing along, so it takes the pressure off me as the singer. Do "A Whole New World"[next time you do karaoke], everyone will be thrilled!
How did you land the gig to be the voice of Vancouver and Toronto's transit system? It just came up on social media! It was just a joke at first … I honestly didn’t think they’d actually do it [Laughs]. But they did. I recorded it and they’ve already started playing in a few stations. It was a hilarious and incredible honour. I have a lot of pride in being Canadian and to be ingrained in the culture of Canada is something that I am happy about.
What is the most Canadian thing about you? I still say some things Canadian – like pencil crayons. They say coloured pencils [in the U.S.] which is so weird. And parkade … in Vancouver we call parking garages parkades. I’m always telling [Lauren] to go to the doctor, that is something very Canadian about me. I don’t feel animosity towards the health system, whereas Americans hate the health system and are just like, ‘Why would I go to the doctor?’”
It must have been exciting to learn you're this year's recipient of a star on Canada's Walk of Fame! It was really thrilling. It’s a little surreal. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the Walk of Fame in person [Laughs], so I don’t quite have 100% context on how it all will be, but overall it is an amazing honour.
What's the best piece of advice you've picked up during your career? It’s not like earthshattering advice, but just trust your perspective. Me and [my writing partner] Evan Goldberg never had much of a strategy. It was never like, “We’ll make this movie and that will let us make this movie, and if that goes well we’ll get to do the thing we really want to do.” We always just did the thing that we really really wanted to do.
And it all started with the advice we got from another stand-up comic, which was to tell jokes about your perspective and about what you are going through, about the things only you can talk about.