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PINEAPPLE EXPRESS

Action
"Judd says that he doesn't like making action movies because he's afraid that someone is going to get hurt, but Pineapple Express – which seemed like it would be a comedy with some action elements – really became a true action film,” says producer Shauna Robertson. "None of us had made a movie like this before, but we were excited to do it and up for the challenge.”

Rogen was not afraid to put his body on the line. "I love action movies,” says Rogen, "and even though we knew Pineapple Express was going to be funny, we didn't want to make fun of action movies – we wanted to make an action movie. To make it funny, we added a silly twist to many of the sequences, but it's still exciting and awesome.”

James Franco puts it succinctly: "It's an action movie with characters that are the opposite of action heroes,” he says.

Franco, who has the most experience in the genre, says that the action of Pineapple Express was some of the most thrilling for him to perform in his career so far. "This actually feels like there's a lot more action in this movie than Spider-Man™ just because the nature of it is so different. In Spider-Man, we'd take a month and a half to film an action scene. On this, we did it in three or four days and it's not in front of a green screen. It's much more down and dirty. It feels like an action movie.”

Although the actors did do some training, they were careful not to train too much. "It was important that we didn't look like we knew what we were doing. If Dale looks comfortable holding a machine gun, it's not funny anymore,” says Rogen. "So we always said, ‘Tell us as little as we need to know, just so we don't get hurt. And I had fighting experience from my karate days as a child – just enough not to accidentally elbow Gary Cole in the head. We trained exactly as much as we needed to, but not so much that we actually looked good doing it.”

As Franco puts it, "We are the two guys that are least equipped to deal with any kind of danger, and we're thrown into a lot of danger.”

Rogen surprised himself when it came to shooting scenes he wrote. "I never thought about actually doing any of it,” Rogen says of the action sequences. "We wrote a sequence where Dale would go into a fire to rescue Saul – I never saw myself doing that. But then, when we filmed it, they lit everything on fire and told me to stand in the middle of it. It was safe and I didn't get hurt – all I could think was, ‘Dude, it's just like it was in my head.'”

"Seth got so excited whenever there was a fire or somebody got punched,” laughs Franco. "He'd never done action before, and it was fun to watch him.”

According to Gary Hymes, a veteran stunt coordinator whose credits include Jurassic Park, Speed, The Italian Job, Jet Li's The One, and many other films, Pineapple Express did not skimp on the action. "When I was first approached to do the movie, it was a bit on the tame side – three small sequences. And then we started to embellish those sequences. It was constantly growing and growing and growing, and by the end, the comedy-with-some-action turned out to be an action picture with some comedy.”

The film even represented a challenge for Hymes. "The easiest kind of action to do is where it's not tied into the characters; it's gratuitous action for its own sake. On Pineapple Express, we had to make it exciting, of course, but also character-driven – what can these characters do and what can't they do? Where do we draw the line? That took awhile to figure out, and it was a great experience.”

For the director, that meant walking a fine line. "I don't think the stunts really quite play realistically,” says Green, "but, as outrageous as it gets, we do want the audience to feel like these are real people stuck in ridiculous situations. These are people that aren't equipped to be in an action mo

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