Jay Baruchel plays a version of himself in "This is the End," a new comedy in which he survives the apocalypse alongside heightened versions of Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson.
It's a feature length adaptation of "Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse," a short Baruchel made with his longtime friend Rogen, that's co-written and co-directed by Rogen and the latter's frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg ("Superbad").
amNewYork spoke with the 31-year-old Baruchel, who first came to prominence acting alongside Rogen on Judd Apatow's "Undeclared," about creating the fictional Jay and more.
To what extent is the Jay Baruchel we see in this movie the real Jay Baruchel?
I'd like to think I'm not as much of a sad sack, but I won't make any promises. That's a hard one for me to answer. Probably not as dissimilar as I'd like. Somewhere in there.
What inspired "Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse"?
It was just this fun weird little short film we made, seven or eight years ago or something, back in '06, I think. I guess that would make it seven years ago. I wasn't too bad. I wasn't too off with my math. Our friend Jason Stone was graduating from USC and wanted a director's calling card concept of what he could do. So him and Evan came up with this weird little idea of, "What if Seth and I were stuck in an apartment together at the end of the world?"
What happened from there?
So we went to USC together, shot for two days and argued a lot. There was a religious undertone to the whole thing, as well as it was very obviously made by a bunch of horror fans, so somewhere along the line, somebody convinced somebody at the studio that it could be a movie movie.
Was there any sort of on-set tweaking or is the Jay that we see as Seth and Evan essentially imagined him?
I think they might have wanted me to be a bit more of a C-3PO worrywart maybe, but I have to assume it is. My biggest concern the whole movie, and I say concern not like it was a problem, it was just something for me to be mindful of, was I wanted to make sure that I was always serving the plot. So I was just kind of looking at the overarching thing and making sure that every beat that needed to be hit was getting hit.
How does your real relationship with Seth compare to how it's portrayed here?
I would describe it as like we're all pretty much north of 30, and I also live in Montreal, so I'm out here [L.A.] a few times a year. Seth's married and quite busy as well. This is to say, we enjoy each other's company but we see each other about as much as friends who are busy and live in different countries can.