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At some point in every big screen comedian’s life, it seems like the idea of playing multiple roles in the same movie always rears its head, and the results have been pretty hit or miss. For every Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove, Mike Myers in Austin Powers or Eddie Murphy in Coming to America that found success and critical acclaim, there’s an Eddie Murphy in Norbit, Eddie Murphy in Meet Dave or Eddie Murphy in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps that drove the concept headfirst into the ground.
Seth Rogen is the latest big name to pull double duty in HBO Max exclusive An American Pickle, and the general consensus is that he’s done a pretty good job, with the fish out of water comedy currently boasting a 72% score on Rotten Tomatoes and most of the praise being pointed in the direction of the 38 year-old’s performance as both Herschel Greenbaum and his great-grandson Ben.
Playing two characters in the same movie always presents plenty of technical challenges, and in a recent interview, Rogen revealed that his reluctance to wear a fake beard saw him essentially shoot all of his scenes twice as both members of the Greenbaum family.
“I didn’t want to wear a fake beard for the movie, because I think they look bad, and as an actor they’re very restrictive. So I grew a big gigantic beard and we shot the entire movie as Herschel, and then I shaved and we went back and shot it again as Ben, basically.”
Not only that, but the Pineapple Express star also remarked that he found sharing the screen with himself much easier than working with other actors, given that he wasn’t forced to rely on anyone else.
“I liked working with myself a lot more than I like working with most other actors, I can definitely say. I’m much more low maintenance. I’m a lot more punctual. I’m rarely on set waiting for myself to show up or emerge from my trailer or finish up a call with my manager or agent. I actually enjoy it. Other actors stress me out, to be totally honest. And I get nervous around other actors a lot of the time. So removing that I think was actually quite a pleasure.”
While Seth Rogen‘s comments are clearly tongue-in-cheek, he has co-starred with some of the biggest names in the business during his career including Adam Sandler, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron and Beyonce, so you can understand why he would get nervous around some of them despite being well established as a major movie star in his own right.