Seven years after Seth Rogen memorably struggled with the prospect of childbirth in “Knocked Up,” he’s moved on to the anxieties of young parenthood in “Neighbors.”
In the comedy, which Universal Pictures will release May 9, Rogen plays the father of a newborn who, with his wife (Rose Byrne), is adapting to their new life.
“It didn’t escape us as we were making it,” says Rogen of the connection from “Knocked Up” to “Neighbors.” “If you caught up with this guy the next year, there’s a chance this is kind of a version of what his life would be like.”
The young parents are challenged when a hard-partying fraternity (led by Zac Efron) moves in next door. But the rivalry that ensues is really a manifestation of their own issues: They still want to party, but they can’t like they used to.
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“Honestly, it was kind of one of the most relatable ideas that I’ve ever had anything to do with in a weird way,” Rogen said in a recent interview. “No one’s made a movie about a couple struggling with the fact that they have a baby and they can’t party anymore. It might be one of the single most relatable moments in humankind.”
Rogen has gotten accustomed to vying amid the blockbusters of summer with original comedies. Last year, he and his writing partner Evan Goldberg released the hit “This Is the End,” an apocalyptic comedy that essentially parodied the disaster movies that so often populate the summer.
He and Goldberg will again put their twist on a movie genre later this year with “The Interview,” due out Oct. 10. It’s about a talk-show host (James Franco) and his producer (Rogen) who land an interview with North Korea dictator Kim Jong-Un and are asked by the CIA to assassinate him.
“It’s really our take on a spy, espionage, journalist thriller, but distinctly starring idiots,” he says.
But the experience making “Neighbors” hasn’t driven the 32-year-old Rogen (who is married to actress-screenwriter Lauren Miller) any closer to parenthood himself, despite the cuteness of the babies used for the film.
“I kept saying on set, if you gave me one of those babies, I would have just taken it,” says Rogen. “Those were good babies. They were cute; they were well behaved; they liked me. But overall, it probably drove me further from having a baby.”