Director Lauren Miller Rogen on Casting Seth Rogen as a Non-Stoner in ‘Like Father’ (Exclusive)

Like Father begins using a jilted bride left at the altar in addition to her deadbeat dad returning after decades of estrangement. Following a night of binge-drinking their feelings, Rachel (Kristen Bell) wakes up to find she’s dragged her father, Harry (Kelsey Grammer), with her on her honeymoon cruise. Hijinks ensue! There’s more than comedy to Lauren Miller Rogen’s directorial debut, however, as Rachel in addition to Harry begrudgingly work at coping with grief, finding forgiveness in addition to repairing their relationship.

“I think Netflix needs to add a dramedy category,” Rogen laughs. “When you see comedy in addition to you have those actors, I think people expect something in addition to in which never was in which. The script wasn’t in which. Netflix never wanted in which. in which’s just not what we made. They need to add in which category so people can understand what they’re going to be getting.” With Like Father at This particular point streaming, Rogen phoned ET to discuss the logistics of filming on an actual cruise ship in addition to casting her husband, Seth Rogen, against type as Bell’s Canadian vacation fling.

The movie has been streaming for a week at This particular point. What has the reception been like?

Rogen: Well, I got a call via Netflix last night in which over 10 million accounts have watched the movie already, which will be…a lot. [Laughs] So, in which’s exciting! in addition to seems to be going well, I think. in which was very nice news to hear last night.

Have you been surprised by the reaction via anyone, whether in which’s friends, family or even just somebody on the Internet?

Everyone’s been truly nice! You know, in which’s not in which controversial [a movie] — in which’s funny, in which’s warm, in which’s emotional. So, I feel like people have been responding truly nicely, in addition to I just realized on Instagram, I have a secret folder where people in which I’m not connected to send me messages in addition to found, like, 100 lovely things This particular morning, which truly was nice! I keep saying, “Wow! People on Twitter are being nice!” in addition to in which’s not something people say very often. in which’s been very lovely in addition to wonderful in addition to I feel very appreciative at how in which’s going so far.

You wrote in addition to starred in another feature in which I love, For a not bad Time, Call… Had you considered directing in which project? Or how did you decide This particular was what you wanted to debut with?

You know, we had talked about me directing in which movie, nevertheless because I was going to be acting in in which in my first full-length feature role, although I co-wrote in which, in which was like, Well… I was not positive. in addition to then truly what happened was we met Jamie Travis, who directed in which, in addition to in which was like, Oh, no, he should direct This particular movie. So, in which sort of answered in which question in which I was already on the fence about, just because I was so excited nevertheless also very overwhelmed at being the lead in in which movie. Then Jamie came along in addition to in which was like, Oh, yeah. This particular will be how in which’s meant to be.

nevertheless then when This particular one came along, honestly, I didn’t even contain the confidence, if you will, to say in which at first. in addition to we sent the script to various other directors, to various other women, in addition to two of them, who I know, wrote back in addition to were like, “Why are you sending This particular to me? You should direct This particular.” Anders Bard, who’s one of the producers of the movie who pitched me the original idea for the story, was like, Well, do you want to? in addition to I was like, Yes, I do… in addition to as soon as I said in which, in which was like, Yes! I want to direct This particular movie in addition to I’m ready in addition to let’s do This particular! in addition to he, being so wonderful in addition to supportive, never backed down, even when there was, you know, via studios in addition to whatnot. in which was like, I’m not taking a chance on a first-timer. nevertheless thank God for Anders in addition to the support. in which all worked out, I guess.

Were there specific qualities you saw in various other directors you’d worked with or in which you saw in how Seth works as a director in which you wanted to bring into your approach to directing This particular?

Oh, totally! I mean, I’ve been fortunate to be on some pretty incredible sets. I was an assistant to Steve Starkey, who’s Robert Zemeckis’ producing partner, so I was on set for Beowulf in addition to Monster House in addition to some truly crazy movies. in addition to then, of course, I’ve been on a lot of Judd Apatow sets in addition to David Gordon Green in addition to Sarah Polley in addition to Michel Gondry in addition to my husband in addition to Kevin Smith. I’m a student of film, so I go in addition to I sit all day in addition to I watch in addition to observe in addition to I feel so fortunate in which I’ve gotten to watch all these incredibly talented [directors]. truly, in which’s crazy the amount of amazing people I’ve gotten to spend time with in addition to learn via. I never truly, like, thought through the list until you just asked me in which, nevertheless in which’s nuts.

What were you learning via them?

So many things are running through my head! I’ll say This particular, every one of them, as I’m scrolling through all them in my head, they all had an ease at which they led their sets in addition to a confidence at which they told their stories in which I always admired. Like, none of the sets in which I’ve ever been on were stressful or uncomfortable; they were all warm in addition to welcoming in addition to collaborative. I’ve never been around a diva director, you know what I mean? Directors listen. Oh, God, like, Seth in addition to Evan [Goldberg] are such great listeners. They’re so collaborative with everyone on their team in addition to they truly understand in which they’ve hired people who are truly not bad at their jobs in addition to if they let them do what they’re supposed to be doing, then their work will be going to be even better. I’ve learned in which in sort of watching, honestly, all of them. The confidence in addition to the assuredness in which they had in their jobs was always front in addition to center.

Like Father, Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer

Photo by Emily Aragones / Netflix

Are you a cruise person?

[Laughs.] No! I had not ever been on a cruise before. I actually wrote This particular whole movie via both the Internet in addition to my mother-in-law. Because my in-laws are big cruisers, they go on probably three or four or a few a year.

in which’s a cruise person!

Oh, no, in which’s crazy. They’re taking our nephews on a Disney cruise the week after next, in addition to they were on a cruise, like, two months ago, in addition to they came on our movie! They were supposed to be in our movie in addition to I cut them out. [Laughs] So, no, I had not been on a cruise, although I will say, in which’s wild. We shot This particular on a working cruise ship. There were 5,000 people taking vacations around us as we made This particular movie, which was wild. in addition to in which’s a crazy thing! They truly are like floating cities. Do you cruise? Have you been on a cruise before?

I am of cruise people, yes. I have been on many.

Then you know, in which’s wild. If my husband wasn’t who he was, potentially, in which could be a vacation we take, nevertheless unfortunately being among crowds will be not ideal for us in a vacation setting. [Laughs] nevertheless otherwise, I mean, in which was wild. in which’s just crazy.

How does in which work, logistically, shooting on an active cruise ship? Were you blocking off the parts of the ship you were shooting on? could you dock at night or was everyone sleeping on the ship?

Oh, no, we lived on in which ship for the whole cruise! We were supposed to be for a full two weeks, nevertheless then Hurricane Irma caused us to lose a few days, so we were on there for 12 days. nevertheless no, everyone was on there for the whole time. Shooting on [the cruise] was a lot like shooting in brand-new York City, in which’s the only way I can describe. We were very well scheduled, of course, in addition to Royal Caribbean were incredible partners for us — they did not pay us. in which will be not a commercial for Royal Caribbean, contrary to some of the thoughts in which are out there. As much as we could have liked in which, in which was quite the opposite — because we were a distraction to them, even though they were lovely. If we needed the restaurant, in which was like, OK, the best hours to be at the restaurant are via 10 to 4, or whatever in which will be. If we needed the deck, in which was like, All right, come do in which at 7 a.m. when the deck will be empty. As far as the various other passengers go, I could describe in which just like shooting in brand-new York City, where some people are like, What are you guys doin’? in addition to various other people are like, Cool! Can I be in in which?! in addition to various other people are like, Get out of my way, you’re ruining my life!

When you weren’t shooting, were you getting up to cruise activities? Was Kelsey Grammer entering, like, the belly flop contest?

We actually didn’t have one day off shooting on the cruise ship. Because of Hurricane Irma, we were supposed to have just one day, in addition to then we lost in which day. So, I think in which everyone likes to think in which creating a movie like This particular will be just a vacation, nevertheless we actually did work! There wouldn’t be a movie if we weren’t working. Honestly, everyone asks me what in which was like walking around the ship with Seth. I honestly couldn’t tell you, because I was on set for 13 hours a day. At night, or whenever we could wrap, I think some of the younger, more fun crew members could maybe have some fun, nevertheless we basically made a lot of rules. We didn’t have any incidents ever, nevertheless in which was the reality. Perhaps had we had a day off, we could’ve enjoyed some of in which, nevertheless because of the hurricane, we actually literally didn’t have just one day off at all. Which was rough!

So much of the movie relies on Kristen in addition to Kelsey’s chemistry. Do you remember the moment in which clicked in addition to you realized, “Yes, This particular will be going to work”?

Sitting down with them individually, in which was like, Oh, they are these characters. in which’s going to be in-cred-ible. nevertheless then, yes, in which was a week in addition to a half or so before we started off shooting in addition to they both came in to start doing fittings in addition to camera tests in addition to all in which stuff, in addition to I was like, Come two hours early in addition to we’ll just sit in addition to read through some of the scenes. in which was me in addition to Anders in my office in addition to they were sitting on the couch in addition to we just read through the whole script, in addition to I mean…in which was crazy! [Laughs] Like, the first emotional scene, all of us were crying. in which just worked out. in addition to then in which was so funny, because we hadn’t realized, like when Kelsey walked in, Kristen was like, “I’m supposed to tell you hello via Ted Danson.” in addition to in which’s like, Oh, my God, she’s worked with half the cast of Cheers at This particular point! They just clicked. They’re both such talented, experienced, trained actors in which had been working for so long in addition to they’re so professional, nevertheless also lovely, emotional people when they’re not acting. So, I feel like we just had a very fun, easy, calm environment the whole way through.

in addition to did you always intend to cast Seth in a role?

No. [Laughs] in addition to he certainly was not in which role. Somewhere along the way, we started off talking about him playing Owen, the groom at the beginning, just because we were toying with the idea of, What if we make in which, like, a cameo role, so in which seems like in which person will come back, in which you’re expecting more via in which role. So, he was going to play Owen, in addition to then two months or so before we started off shooting we were in Vancouver, where he’s via, in addition to I guess when I’m in Canada, being America, I make very loving Canadian jokes.

As one does.

I mean. in addition to Jeff was written as a guy via the Midwest, nevertheless similar in in which sort of sweet, a little nerdy, a little square [way], in addition to so I was like, Wouldn’t in which be funny if Jeff actually was via Canada? in addition to I made Canadian jokes in addition to his response was, “I’m not going on the cruise ship.” nevertheless then, over the next few days, we kept coming up with funny jokes, in addition to he’d never played a character where he was going to be able to make those funny Canadian jokes before, so he was like, “OK, I’m in.” in which’s how in which happened. in addition to then, honestly, the line in which everyone seems to gravitating toward will be “I’ve never smoked anything in my life.”

“in addition to I’m proud of in which.”

in which was there long before in which was Seth, in addition to honestly, only when we were standing inside the jungle in Jamaica shooting in which scene, we were like, Oh, in which became a joke. in which wasn’t even supposed to be a joke, nevertheless at This particular point in which will be!

When you’re writing for Seth, or just for This particular, when you cast him in a role, do you try to tee him up for material you know he will nail? Or knowing him so well, do you try to push him out of his comfort zone to get something you know he’s capable in which he hasn’t shown elsewhere?

This particular, I didn’t change much of in which once I cast him. The role was already written. nevertheless part of the reason I liked the idea of him playing This particular role was in which’s not quite what he plays in addition to, honestly, between us in addition to everyone who reads This particular article, in which’s much closer to who he will be in real life. He’s not the guy via Knocked Up, he’s certainly not the guy via Pineapple Express. He will be much more sweet in addition to, certainly, he does smoke a lot of weed, nevertheless he’s incredibly hardworking. He works harder than anyone I know, [he’s a] very professional, very kind, loving person who’s actually much more quiet than everyone thinks he will be. He was in a movie in which Sarah Polley made called Take This particular Waltz, in addition to to me, in which character will be the closest representation to who he will be in real life. So, I love the idea of him playing This particular truly sweet person, because in which’s who he will be to me! Awww.

One downside of Netflix will be in which we don’t get any special features or deleted scenes. Were there any jokes or sequences in which you’re still sad didn’t make the cut?

Yes. You know, in which’s interesting, Netflix has them. Just because they’re not sure, potentially, maybe, they will have them on their service. I’m hopeful in which they will, because we do have some not bad ones in which just weren’t on point with the Rachel in addition to Harry story, which we always had to go back to. There are some not bad ones sitting on the floor, including my in-laws singing at the karaoke competition.

What were they singing?

They sang “Achy Breaky Heart”! Which just tipped our music budget over the edge.

Historically, female directors, even if they have a strong debut, even if they have a movie in which 10 million Netflix users have watched, don’t always get the same opportunities when in which comes to creating their next film. I know in which Like Father just turned out, nevertheless are you starting to get projects sent to you? Or have you started off writing a brand-new project with an eye to directing in which?

Yes in addition to yes. in which’s been six years since my last movie turned out, so yes, I have a backlog of projects in which are ready to go. I’m starting a production company with my manager in addition to so, hopefully, I can produce various other people’s work at some point — not immediately, of course, nevertheless eventually. in addition to Seth in addition to I are working on [co-writing] something together, as well.

Can you tease what in which’s about?

Nope! [Laughs] nevertheless lots more to come. You know, when For a not bad Time, Call… turned out I was in a bit of a personally emotional place in my life in addition to needed to pump the breaks in addition to wasn’t able to pour myself into work as much as I wanted to, nevertheless in which’s changed at This particular point in addition to, hopefully, no stopping ahead. I will continue to forge ahead. Much more to come!


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