Seth Rogen Thought Steven Spielberg Was Calling To Yell At Him When He Got Cast In 'The Fabelmans'
How many people in Hollywood do you have to piss off to make a phone call from Steven F—ing Spielberg feel like getting called into the principal’s office? Seth Rogen should know the answer.
Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Rogen explained the experience of receiving a call from the legendary filmmaker and feeling his heart sink into his stomach at the assumption that Spielberg was going to yell at him for making a joke at the director’s expense which Rogen had forgotten. To the Superbad star’s surprise, Spielberg wasn’t calling to berate Rogen for making some unflattering offhand comment (as is a regular occurrence for Rogen, apparently,) but to offer Rogen a role in his thoughtful, semi-autobiographical Oscar-bound film The Fabelmans.
Rogen is conditioned to assume that people only want to talk to him so that they can yell at him for his bad jokes. Looking at our comment sections, we feel that.
“I’m sure you relate to this,” Rogen told his host, “But we make a lot of jokes out here, and I make jokes about people that I forget I make.” Rogen told Kimmel that being accosted by a celebrity about whom he had made some forgotten joke is a regular occurrence, saying, “I’ve had famous people come up to me and say ‘Hey man, F— you!’ And I genuinely have no idea what they’re talking about!”
“I have to Google, ‘Seth Rogen Pete Davidson Joke’ and then I’m like, ‘oh, I did say something one time!’” Rogen explained that, when he heard Spielberg had called him, he assumed this was another instance of an irate celebrity taking a joke personally instead of a respected filmmaker extending a lucrative job offer. Said Rogen, “It’s happened to me so many times that I assumed I had made some joke and I was going to get yelled at, and instead it was like, ‘No, I want you to play my uncle in this movie,’ which is much better.”
Rogen’s performance as the amiable uncle Benny Loewy has been applauded for its empathetic portrayal of one of Spielberg’s real-life father figures, but Rogen had reason to doubt his new director’s affection – Rogen once told Howard Stern the story of how he found himself at a glitzy party smoking a joint when the lauded director approached him with a sense of clear disapproval for the iconic stoner’s vice of choice.
Rogen told Stern, “Steven Spielberg came up to me as I had this joint in my hand, and I could just tell that he did not like it. Like, it was a very judgmental moment. And then you’re confronted with this thing where it’s like, ‘do I f—ing try to hide it? Do I just keep smoking it?” Rogen decided to continue to smoke his weed directly in the legendary director’s face, explaining, “I think I just have to take ownership over this and keep smoking this joint in front of Steven Spielberg.”
For years, the stoner star thought that Spielberg held onto some animosity about his signature indulgence, which makes the fabled Fabelmans phone call that much more intimidating from Rogen’s perspective. Fortunately for him, Spielberg doesn’t hold a grudge the way Rogen holds his joints in that he lets them go in favor of professionalism.
If we ever give Seth Rogen an ominous phone call, it’s not going to be for the purpose of yelling at him for some joke he made – we’ll be doing it to yell at him for his stupid $500 joint rolling trays.