Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
When Seth Rogen found out his best friend Will Reiser had cancer, he was 23 years old. At the time, they joked about the disease and used his situation to get sympathy from women at bars. But the actor has come a long way since then. He's now 29, is engaged to fiancée Lauren Miller and says he's learned to "talk much quieter."
But even though Rogen has matured, he's still nowhere near being ready for fatherhood. "All my friends are having kids and my sister just had a baby last year and it makes me not want to have kids," he tells iVillage exclusively.
But one thing he is ready for is sharing Will's cancer story with the world. After he recovered, Reiser and Rogen teamed up to write and produce the film 50/50 (in theaters Sept. 30), which Rogen also stars in. When iVillage caught up with the actor, he dished about how making the movie affected their friendship, how he wooed his fiancée and why it took him "several days" to recover after partying with the cast of Jersey Shore.
How much of the movie is fiction and how much is based on real life?
There are very few scenes of the movie that are specifically things that happened, you know, exactly. Maybe a handful out of the whole movie. When we thought about making a movie, it wasn't like we needed to show exactly what we went through. It was more like there are no movies that really feel how our experience felt. There are no movies that show how funny it was sometimes, and how absurd it was sometimes, and how awkward it was sometimes. That was really our goal.
The movie was actually really funny despite the somber topic. Did you guys use humor to cope in real life?
Yeah, I think almost aggressively me and his other friends tried to find the humor in the situation. And we are all comedy writers, so that probably led itself to it. We really tried to make light of it, as much as humanly possible.
Were people around you like, "Why are you joking about this?"
Not really. No one is trying to convince you to be more sad about a situation when you're living it. It's funny, cause I think in movies people do have that attitude. People do say, "Oh that's sad, you should treat it sadly." But in real life, you never have that attitude. If someone is sad you want to cheer them up. You don't want to wallow in it.
Was it emotional to see the finished product?
Maybe at times. All I could think was how it must be for Will to watch it. It is weird at times, honestly, because there are a few things in the movie that are literally conversations we had in real life.
Did making the movie bring you and Will closer together?
It probably did, yeah. I think it actually forced us to have a lot of conversations about what happened that we probably wouldn't have had. We never would have had to say, "You acted like this. You did this to me. I thought you should have done this, but instead you did this." We would have never said any of that stuff to each other unless we had to make a movie about characters that were behaving very similar to us. So, yeah, I think it ultimately helped us work through some of the stuff that happened.
In the film, your character uses his friend's cancer to pick up girls. Was that based on reality?
I mean maybe not specifically. I don't think there was ever a night where I was like, "Tonight we're gonna go out to a bar and tell girls you have cancer." That being said, there were nights while he was sick that we went to bars and we talked to girls and it came up that he had cancer. And I don't think it made us look worse. I don't think it hurt our chances.
So you got some sympathy.
I actually met my fiancée one night when me and Will were at a bar when he was sick.
Was he your wingman that night?
Yeah, he actually introduced us.
How did you win her over when you met?
That night was actually the first night that we ever talked about making a movie about him being sick. I can't help but think that made me seem very appealing.
You said recently that at that time, you hadn't had a girlfriend yet, so you hadn't been taught how to behave properly. So, what has your fiancée taught you?
Oh, I don't know, probably a lot. I talk much quieter generally, conversationally. I don't interrupt as much. But I'm much cleaner than she is. I'd like to say that she taught me how to tidy up, but that's been the exact opposite.
How's the wedding planning going?
It's going good.
Can you give me any details?
Is Will going to be in your wedding?
He'll be there, yes.
Do you see kids in your future?
Oh man, I don't know. We don't see them anytime soon. All my friends are having kids and my sister just had a baby last year, and it makes me not want to have kids.
So, you're happy just being an uncle for now?
Exactly. It's very nice just playing with the baby and then as soon as it becomes difficult, you just hand it off.
You partied with the Jersey Shore cast at the MTV Video Music Awards last month -- and then Deena told Jimmy Fallon that she was "giving you the turnpike."
I'll take her word for it. I had a lot to drink that night.
Were they teaching you how to party Jersey style?
Yeah, it's like playing basketball with Michael Jordan. It's hard to keep up. I shouldn't have tried; I had to pay for it for several days afterwards.
Are you a fan of the show?
I do watch the show. I mean, yeah. I was on board with reality TV from the beginning. I liked reality TV when I still worked in TV and literally was having my job ruined by reality TV.
If you had to be on a reality show, which one would you choose?
Good question. I like Top Chef. I'd go for that.
Do you think you'd be a good competitor?
No, I would eat the food that other people made. Maybe I could be a judge.
Ali Gray is iVillage's Senior Associate Entertainment Editor. Follow her on Twitter: @thealigray