DrBat (drbat) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Seth Rogen talks about “An American Pickle,” Judaism, Israel, and more

Seth Rogen says that while he doesn’t regret his comments on Israel, he thinks some of it was misconstrued.

“I think that it’s a tricky conversation to have in jest. And that’s something that perhaps I now look at and say, ‘Oh, now that we joked about that, perhaps we could clarify some things so people don’t run around thinking that I think Israel shouldn’t exist anymore.’ And I’m sensitive to Jewish people being hurt, as a Jewish person. And I’m sensitive to Jewish people thinking I’m not a proud Jewish person, which I am.

Truthfully, I think my pride in being Jewish and how deeply I identify as a Jewish person perhaps made me feel like I was able to say things without as much context as perhaps I should give them – you know what I’m saying? And I am sensitive to Jews thinking that I don’t think Israel should not exist, and that there are a lot of Jewish people who are alive who wouldn’t be without Israel. And my parents met in Israel; I’ve been to Israel several times.”

Rogen also talked about how he was working on his “American Pickle” film, which will premiere August 6 on HBO Max, when the Tree of Life Shooting happened in Pittsburgh.

“We were supposed to start shooting on Monday, and the shooting happened on that Saturday if I’m not mistaken – and I was about a mile away from it when it happened. It was, in a sense, very scary, but in another sense I remember thinking: I’m about to make the most Jewish movie I’ve ever made, probably the most Jewish movie that almost anyone’s ever made, in the wake of the most violent antisemitic attack in the history of America, in the same city. And there was a sense that it suddenly became much more important to do it. And any fear I had about how Jewish a movie it was, I honestly thought that if there was ever a time to double down on this, now was that time.”

On anti-semitism in Hollywood, “I try to call out antisemitism where I see it. I know for a fact that antisemitic people also do thrive in Hollywood – so the notion that Jews control the careers of everyone in Hollywood is wildly inaccurate. Mel Gibson has made several movies over the last several years. He won an Academy Award for one of them, I think, in the wake of making horribly antisemitic comments.“ (Gibson received an Oscar nomination for “Hacksaw Ridge” in 2017.)

On why he has been adapting comic properties like ‘Preacher’ and ‘The Boys,’ “Ever since I was a kid, I was a huge comic book fan. Stan Lee is Jewish and he’s one of the architects of the comic universe as we know it. And I think the more you analyze the stories of comic books, the more you see these themes of people being othered, people being attacked for how they were born, their attributes. There are explicitly Jewish storylines in some of the comic books – Magneto [in ‘X-Men’] is a Holocaust survivor – and as a kid, reading that was very powerful and something that just really hooked me.”

On how the current political climate in America is for Jewish people, “The president is [a] white supremacist, so things are not great here. And Republican politicians literally tweet blatantly antisemitic propaganda pretty regularly. It’s a weird time in America.”

More at the source.
Tags: comic books, politics, race / racism, religion, seth rogen, television - hbo
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