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Seth Rogen says he finds criticism of his films ‘devastating’ and that it takes some creatives ‘decades’ to recover

‘It hurts everyone, very much,’ said star

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 07 March 2023 10:35 GMT
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The Fabelmans stars reflect on 'once in a lifetime' job working with Steven Spielberg

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Seth Rogen has talked about how “devastating” he finds negative reviews of his work.

The Superbad star, 40, said that over the years he has gained perspective on his creative successes and failures and is now “much better at dealing with it”.

Speaking on the The Diary of a CEO podcast, Rogen opened up about his own career self-doubt, and the effects of criticism on himself and others within the industry.

“It hurts everyone, very much,” he said. “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. It’s devastating.”

Rogen continued: “I know people who’ve never recovered, honestly – a year, decades of being hurt by this. 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.”

Rogen said that after years in the industry, “not a lot of people are in a position to yell at me”, but major publications still have the power to “tell everyone I suck”.

Rogen is best known for multiple stoner comedies, including Pineapple Express, This is the End and Superbad, starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera.

He also recently appeared alongside Paul Dano and Michelle Williams in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated movie The Fabelmans.

Rogen admitted he is still impacted by negative reviews
Rogen admitted he is still impacted by negative reviews (Getty Images for SeeHer)

In a four-star review of The Fabelmans, in which Rogen stars as a close family friend, The Independent’s critic Clarisse Loughrey wrote: “The Fabelmans, really, isn’t all that necessary to understand Spielberg as an artist. That sense of displacement, that childlike want to heal what’s fractured, is eternally present in his work, from AI Artificial Intelligence to ET: the Extra-Terrestrial to Catch Me If You Can.

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“But there’s something disarmingly humble about The Fabelmans and the simplicity of its desire to pinpoint the ordinary roots of future greatness.”

On the human impact of being slammed by critics, Rogen said: “I’ve had different approaches. Any opening weekend, honestly, and any time I have a thing coming out, it sucks, because it just is stressful.

“It’s like birth, which is just an inherently painful process, even though it is maybe bringing something beautiful into the world. It is a painful act. And I think that is like what releasing a movie is for the people who made it in some ways... in some ways it’s inherently beautiful and joyous, but in some ways, it’s also just very painful.”

He added: “I’ve gotten much better at dealing with it. I think when I was younger, I really did not have as much perspective as I do. And now I do not carry it with me nearly as much as I used to.”

The full interview with Rogen on the Diary of a CEO podcast with Steven Bartlett can be accessed online now.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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