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Observe and Report in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Observe and Report

THE STARS:
Seth Rogen • Anna Faris • Ray Liotta • Michael Pena
DIRECTOR: Jody Hill

Poster artwork THE CONCEPT:
Ronnie (Rogen), the head security guard at the Forest Ridge Mall is the master of his domain, combating skateboarders, shoplifters and unruly customers, while dreaming of the day he can be a police officer. When the mall is struck by a flasher, Ronnie seizes the opportunity to showoff his law enforcement talents, hoping to impress the girl he loves, Brandi (Faris), a make up counter clerk, and frustrating and annoying the cop on the case, Detective Harrison (Liotta).

U.S. RELEASE: April 10 2009, Nationwide • Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

JODY HILL:
Jody Hill“Rather than make a broad comedy we wanted to make more of a character piece that you would have seen in the Seventies, where these characters are not based on likeability – we were trying to make realistic characters, so we were always talking about Taxi Driver and King of Comedy. I wrote the part for Seth. Because of his recent films people think of him as the loveable stoner, but if you look at Freaks and Geeks, he played a darker, more subdued, insecure kid. He’s got a bigger range than people think. He really makes some dramatic turns in this movie. The guy’s got talent.”

SETH ROGEN:
Seth Rogen“I agreed to do this before I even read the screenplay. I was friends with Jody, we’d known each other for awhile. I’d seen his movie The Foot Fist Way, so I was in. I read the script before we started pre-production and I was like, ‘Perfect, let’s do it.’ Ronnie takes his job far too seriously. He sees the mall where he works as the world – you get the sense that he doesn’t leave very often. But in my head it was all funny, there was no dramatic element to it at all. The more serious and crazy it was, the funnier I thought it was.”

HILL:
“There’s a pervert that comes around to the mall and flashes some of the ladies. Ronnie, in his somewhat delusional way, sees this as his call to arms, to greatness. He’s on a mission to stop this pervert before the local police can solve the crime. In fact, he really sees the detective as his nemesis and it becomes a violent standoff between Ronnie and the police.”

ANNA FARIS:
Anna Faris“It was so much fun to play such an awful character. As a woman, especially, you normally play roles where you have to win the audience over or win the guy over, and be charming. This character is just like, ‘Screw you! I hope you hate me.’ And that was so liberating to play.”

HILL:
“I’ve been a fan of Anna’s forever; she’s always a standout in no matter what movie she’s in. Anna is great because she’s not precious about [the audience’s] perception of her, she’d do any crazy thing, she’s fearless, and you don’t find that too often in an actress.”

ROGEN:
“With Ray’s role, the straighter he played it the funnier it ultimately was, and he totally got that. Something a lot of actors would do, in that situation, is play into the comedy, and he didn’t do that in any way, shape or form. He was in a cop movie, which was perfect.”

RAY LIOTTA:
Seth Rogen and Ray Liotta“Jody wrote and interesting character and I just went with what he wrote. I’m the straight man in it. The other characters are crazy, and I’m just frustrated by the absurdity of them. I didn’t do much improv in this, because I’m just telling them to shut up and leave me alone. There was some adlibbing, but I stayed more to the script, because the only place I could go with it was shut up and shot up some more. So whatever Seth threw at me it pretty much was going to be the same reaction.”

HILL:
“There are a lot of fight scenes in the film – we’ve got Ronnie jumping walls, shooting guns, fist-fighting. Seth does it pretty much all himself. You may not necessarily know this, but Seth is a physical guy; he’s really very graceful and athletic. I didn’t know that about him. It’s been really cool to watch.”

ROGEN:
“Honestly, I thought the movie was awesome and insane, and I couldn’t believe we were getting to make it, so that made it really exciting on a day-to-day basis. I’d just be standing there with a gun and there would be a guy covered in blood on the ground, and I’d be like, ‘What are we doing? This is nuts!’ We shot a lot of guns in Pineapple Express, so I already knew how to shoot guns. I had to learn how to ride a motorcycle, which was pretty rad. I think I’m the first Jew ever on a motorcycle. But, other than that, it wasn’t outside the realm of what I’d done before.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Warner Bros Pictures
Feature © 2009 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

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