Seth Rogen Discusses Paul
03.06.11 by BJSprecher
Comedic actor Seth Rogen is following up his stint as a masked crimefighter in director Michel Gondry's The Green Hornet by lending his voice and mannerisms to a beer-guzzling, pot-smoking, pop culture-inspiring alien refugee named Paul in director Greg Mottola's (Adventureland) new sci-fi comedy, Paul, which opened in the U.K. on Valentine's Day, but is still nearly two weeks away from release in the States. The movie was written by and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as two British comic book geeks on a road trip in the American Southwest who happen upon Paul as he attempts to escape from the top-secret Area 51 government facility. In a recent interview with ComicsContinuum, Rogen discussed his motion capture work, working with Greg Mottola and the impetus behind the look of the title alien.
Rogen described Paul as a "chilled out dude" and said that, when it came to doing the motion capture work to create Paul's mannerisms, he wanted the little xenomorph to be as little like other movie aliens as possible, with "casual" being his descriptor of choice.
I mean, honestly, in the motion capture stuff, I kind of thought it would be funny if it just moved as much like me as possible. And, I tried to make it extra casual. I tried to kind of make it that he was a little drunk and stoned all of the time. I was just amused that we were taking this, like, insane technology and applying it to something so kind of casual. When you see these aliens in movies, they move so much like aliens and they're so affected in that way, and I thought it would be funny to see that the alien was kind of super-casual and human-like.
Rogen had nothing but good things to say about Mottola, who he previously worked with on Superbad, calling him "one of the best directors out there."
He's kind of like the standard now that I compare all other directors I work with against, very unfairly. Not only is he incredibly great and the movies turn out really good, but he's like super easy to work with and he's nice and he's funny. He doesn't yell at everyone and he's just super chilled out and he finishes on time and on budget.
If you're thinking that the design of Paul is not that original, Rogen says that that's intentional, playing into UFO conspiracy theorists ideas that aliens do exist and that Hollywood is conditioning us to accept them.
[Pegg and Frost] had this funny idea that, like, people were kind of given images of what Paul looks like to make it, like, easier to digest if they ever saw him. Which is an actual, like, theory that conspiracy theorists have, is like that people like Steven Spielberg are like government agents that are paid to inundate our society with knowledge of aliens should there be an alien encounter... It's not that [my character looks] like every alien you've seen, it's that every alien you've seen looks like Paul.
Paul also stars Jason Bateman, Blythe Danner, Bill Hader, SNL's Kristen Wiig, and three-time Academy Award nominee Sigourney Weaver.