Seth Rogen Says Bad Reviews Can Be ‘Devastating’

Seth Rogen is getting honest about taking bad reviews personally.

In a recent appearance on The Diary of a CEO podcast with host Steven Bartlett, Rogen, 40, shared how “devastating” negative reviews are, and how film critics may not be thinking about the people involved when they are critiquing a project.

“I think if most critics knew how much it hurts the people that made the things that they are writing about, they would second guess the way they write these things,” Rogen said. “It’s devastating. I know people who have never recovered from it honestly — a year, decades of being hurt by [reviews].”

He added, “It’s very personal…. It is devastating when you are being institutionally told that your personal expression was bad, and that’s something that people carry with them, literally their entire lives, and I get why. It f—ing sucks.”

Rogen went on to delve into his own personal experience, having received poor reviews for 2011’s The Green Hornet, a superhero comedy starring Rogen opposite Jay Chou and Cameron Diaz. That film ended up with a 44 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

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“For Green Hornet, the reviews were coming out and it was pretty bad,” Rogen said. “People hated it. People were taking joy in disliking it a lot.”

He continued, “But it opened to like $35 million, which was the biggest opening weekend I’d ever been associated with at that point. It did pretty well. That’s what is nice sometimes. You can grasp for some sense of success at times.”

However, Rogen added he felt even more downtrodden when his 2014 comedy with James Franco The Interview fell to the critics’ wrath, sharing how it felt “more personal” as they questioned his creative taste.

“That felt far more personal,” Rogen said. “Green Hornet felt like I had fallen victim to a big fancy thing. That was not so much a creative failure on our parts but a conceptual failure. The Interview, people treated us like we creatively failed and that sucked.”

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Treating himself to a nice dinner or spending time at his beach house could often soften the blow of harsh criticism for Rogen. But as any actor may relate to, the greatest way to heal is to keep working, The Fabelmans actor said.

“That’s another funny thing about making movies … life goes on,” he said. “You can be making another movie as your [current] movie is bombing, which is a funny thing. It’s bittersweet. You know things will be okay. You’re already working. If the fear is the movie bombs and you won’t get hired again, well you don’t have to worry about it. But it’s an emotional conundrum at times.”

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