It's hard to believe anyone had a problem with the conceit of celebrities playing "themselves" in "This Is The End," if only because that's the main shtick of the entire film.
"The idea to let us play ourselves was a really hard thing," Seth Rogen, who co-wrote and co-directed the apocalypse comedy with his pal Evan Goldberg, said at WonderCon last weekend (via io9). Rogen plays himself in "This Is The End," alongside actors like James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel, Kevin Hart, Michael Cera, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna and even Emma Watson. Yet despite those heavy-hitters and dozens more, Goldberg said the concept "really rubbed everybody the wrong way in the studio world."
All of which is to say, good thing cooler heads prevailed, because while it's funny to watch Michael Cera play a jerk, it's much funnier to watch Michael Cera play "Michael Cera" as a jerk. (Extra lolz when he blows cocaine into McLovin's face.) The same goes for Mindy Kaling lasciviously opining about the size of Cera's penis or Emma Watson smashing Rogen in the face with an axe. (As McBride-as-McBride says in the new "This Is The End" red-band trailer: "Hermione stole all of our sh-t.")
"We thought it'd be funny to see really famous people die in super graphic ways," Rogen said. “People were into it. At first we thought they'd be insulted or something like that -- and some of them were -- but most of them weren't. They were into it."
Watch the graphically violent and NSFW "This Is The End" trailer above. The film is out on June 14.