AUSTIN – Among the cast members onhand to discuss the new Seth Rogen comedy Observe and Report was Anna Faris. She’s best known for the Scary Movie franchise and last year’s The House Bunny, but there are plenty of people (myself included) who know her primarily for playing herself on Entourage.
What played out on Tuesday morning (aside from miles of unprintable comedy gold) was an Entourage-esque look at how so much of making it in Hollywood is dependent on knowing the right people and catching a few breaks.
Observe and Report was written and directed by Jody Hill. Never heard of him? Neither had anyone else before last year. But his first film, The Foot Fist Way starring his college buddy Danny McBride, started making the rounds among Hollywood’s comedy elite. The worn DVD copy found fans in Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who passed it along to Judd Apatow, who passed it to Rogen, and so on. Soon Hill was an in-demand talent with a development deal at Warner Bros.
He turned in a script for Observe and Report that he never thought would see the light of day as it was exceedingly crude and broke too many of Hollywood’s comedy conventions. As he put it Tuesday, “I thought I would just take the cash and move on to something else.”
But things changed when Rogen expressed an interest in the role, partly due to his love of Foot Fist Way. And with Rogen on-board, Hill suddenly had the power to lean on the studio to allow him to make the film he wanted to make (a hard R that earns its rating for just about everything a film can earn an R rating for). He even worked his old buddy McBride into the movie – though McBride has gone on to find plenty of success in his own right with parts in Tropic Thunder and Pineapple Express.
The rest, as they say, is history. The point of passing along that story (other than the fact that the rest of the discussion was too profane to get into) is to show that with talent and some luck, it is still possible for outsiders to make it in Hollywood. And to prove, as I said earlier, that everything on Entourage is true.