Ever since he first caught the attention of mainstream moviegoers with his hilarious supporting role in THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, Seth Rogen has made us laugh. Always humorous, often relatable and consistently a welcome presence on screens big and small, Rogen has become a beloved actor, writer and producer.
His latest film, LONG SHOT, only cements his status as a comedic genius — something he’s been working toward almost his entire life. We take a look back at Rogen’s career, from his humble beginnings on TV, to his current standing as one of the most humorous men in Hollywood.
His First Showbiz Family
Rogen began pursuing a career in comedy when he was just 12 years old, taking stand-up lessons and performing at parties. While taking bar mitzvah classes, he met Evan Goldberg. By the time they were 13 years old, they had written a rough draft for the script that would inevitably become the comedy hit SUPERBAD. When Rogen was 16, he met Judd Apatow, who cast him in the acclaimed short-lived TV series “Freaks and Geeks,” opposite fellow future stars James Franco and Linda Cardellini.
Rogen continued working on the script for SUPERBAD all through high school while also starring in “Freaks and Geeks,” which eventually became one of the most beloved TV shows of all time. Apatow recognized Rogen and Goldberg’s talent and became their mentor, helping them develop their ideas. Meanwhile, Rogen landed supporting roles in movies like DONNIE DARKO and ANCHORMAN, and by 2004, he was working as a writer on the Sacha Baron Cohen TV series “Da Ali G Show.”
Rogen Breaks Out
In 2005, Rogen starred in Apatow’s directorial debut, THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, in which he played one of Steve Carell’s co-workers. Rogen’s role was highly memorable, thanks in part to the fact that he improvised all of his lines, further proving his comedic skills. While his next role wasn’t as memorable (in 2006’s YOU, ME AND DUPREE, from the directors who went on to make AVENGERS: ENDGAME), it only took a couple more years for Rogen to break out big time.
Apatow cast Rogen as the lead in 2007’s KNOCKED UP, about an immature stoner who’s forced to grow up when a one-night stand with a woman (played by Katherine Heigl) results in pregnancy. It was a victory for Rogen in many ways, proving that he could not only anchor an entire movie, but that he was just as skilled with dramatic material as he was with comedy. 2007 was a major year for Rogen, who finally released his film SUPERBAD. Inspired by Rogen and Goldberg’s own high school experiences, the film launched the careers of Michael Cera and Jonah Hill.
The King of Comedy
It didn’t take long for Rogen to suddenly be everywhere, from lending his voice to animated films like HORTON HEARS A WHO! and KUNG FU PANDA, to starring in funny favorites like PINEAPPLE EXPRESS (which he also wrote and produced), FUNNY PEOPLE (directed by Apatow) and the deranged dark comedy OBSERVE AND REPORT. Even as he also earned acclaim for dramatic work (as with TAKE THIS WALTZ and 50/50), Rogen firmly established himself as one of the funniest and wittiest writers and actors working today.
In 2013, Rogen and Goldberg made their directing debut with the apocalyptic comedy THIS IS THE END, in which Rogen — along with famous pals like Danny McBride and James Franco — played a fictional version of himself. Ever since he entered the world of directing, Rogen has slowly been accumulating more and more work behind the scenes, producing shows like “Preacher” and the upcoming Amazon series “The Boys,” while still starring in awesome movies like NEIGHBORS. With his new film, LONG SHOT, Rogen puts a twist on the familiar idea of the “average” guy falling for the beautiful woman (in this case, Charlize Theron) in a hilarious, heartfelt comedy that once again proves his genius.
LONG SHOT opens on May 3.