Twelve years after coming-of-age comedy “Superbad” shot Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to superstardom, the creative duo introduced the new generation of comedic talent with the debut of “Good Boys” at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, Calif., on Wednesday night.
“Working with people who aren’t jaded yet by years in Hollywood is always a good time,” Goldberg told Variety.
“It’s nice to think we might be the ones who jade them,” Rogen chimed in, before producer James Weaver added, “We’re not going to have to deal with the jading, unless there’s a sequel, which I hope happens.”
Rogen and Goldberg produced the film, which follows three innocent tweens (Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon) as they go on an adventure to escape punishment and make a name for themselves among the popular crowd in the sixth grade — while armed with their parents’ sex toys. The friends, who call themselves “The Bean Bag Boys,” navigate the film as naively as any youngster could — with tons of cursing and ignorance toward the affairs of the opposite sex.
Though raunchy, the adults behind the R-rated film considered the innocence of their young stars when deciding just how far they could push the boundaries.
“Every scene, we would look at and ask, ‘Oh, is this making us laugh?’ because we didn’t want to have swearing for swearing’s sake. They’re kids,” writer and producer Lee Eisenberg explained to Variety. “Even as we edited the movie…we had some of that where it just felt kind of unnecessary. It didn’t feel like that was the best version of it. We really wanted the kids to feel really sweet and innocent while we were throwing them into these adult situations.”
“And the movie reflects the time that we’re in,” Goldberg added. “And in this time, don’t call girls skanks. It’s not cool. It never was, it turns out.”
Tremblay (who stars as Max), Williams and Noon absolutely proved themselves to be just as sweet as their “Good Boys” characters while strolling down the red carpet, beaming with excitement. “This is one of those movies where I love to go and see the audiences’ reactions to all the jokes. They’ll be laughing so so hard and that just brings me such joy,” 12-year-old Tremblay told Variety.
Noon (Thor) credited Rogen with helping the trio take their acting to the next level and bring the laughs, teaching them a thing or two about improvisation.
“Seth is such a top-tier actor. Everyone knows who Seth Rogen is,” he said. “I feel like [improv] is a very important skill in different genres, not just comedy; drama, romance, everything, action.” Williams (who plays Lucas) added, “I love improving now. I would say 90% of the movie is improv.”
On being named as a mentor for the kids, Rogen responded, “Woah. That’s truly a horrifying thing to hear. I specifically did not try to teach them anything but I would say that’s very nice, very flattering, and maybe a failure on their parents’ part.”
Before heading into the theater, Rogen made a quick statement regarding Universal’s recent cancellation of “The Hunt” release amid controversy surrounding the film, including a critical tweet from President Donald Trump. Rogen can relate; in December 2014, Sony effectively canceled the theatrical release of his film “The Interview” following threats from hackers linked to North Korea (the film went on to be released digitally).
“It sucks when an evil world leader gets your movie canceled,” the actor said.
“Good Boys” is in theaters on Aug. 16.