North Korea is not a fan of Seth Rogen’s latest film, “The Interview,” a comedy about the assassination of its leader, Kim Jong-un, which is never going to see the light of day.
North Korea threatened violence if the film was released, which spurred Sony Pictures to cancel the flick altogether after a massive cyberattack from North Korean hackers.
Stephen Colbert interviewed Rogen a few days ago, before Sony canceled the movie’s release that was originally scheduled for Christmas Day.
Rogen seemed nervous and almost jumped out of his chair when Colbert shifted positions. He made a comment about weed to which Colbert replied, “Weed is not really the problem here. It’s going toe to toe with the North Koreans in thermonuclear conflict.”
Colbert kept the interview light but asked some serious questions.
“[Your film has] upset the North Koreans,” Colbert stated. “Did you think it would upset the North Koreans? Did you picture them as a jolly regime?”
Rogen admitted that he thought the movie might cause a stir.
“We did not think they would love the concept of the movie to be totally honest,” Rogen said. “But more than anything we wanted to make a movie that had one foot in reality. That’s something we as filmmakers like and think is interesting as audience members as well.”
Colbert then asked if it was appropriate to make jokes about real things in the world, and asked if Rogen had considered changing Kim Jong-un’s name.
“I personally think it is appropriate to make jokes about real things,” Rogen said with a nervous laugh. “We thought maybe we could inject some slight relevance.” He said he thought about changing the leader’s name but reconsidered. “We thought, ‘Whose feelings are we trying to spare by doing that? Kim Jong-un?'”
Rogen says he was fascinated by what was happening in North Korea and did as much research as “humanly possible” before directing the film. He also says he tried to make Kim Jong-un seem “adorable” in the movie.
Business Insider’s Brett Arnold saw an early screening of “The Interview” and explains scenes in the movie that could be considered offensive.
Here’s the full interview:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.