Ensemble casts filled with big Hollywood names are extremely popular with moviegoers, and the cast of “This is the End” delivers some of today’s biggest names in comedy. This film takes a look at the end of the world as it can only be imagined by the mind of Seth Rogen and fellow writer/director Evan Goldberg.
It’s hard to say who the most famous star is in the “This is the End” cast, but the three main stars of the film have certainly earned huge followings among moviegoers. Seth Rogen teams up with former “Freaks and Geeks” and “Pineapple Express” cast mate James Franco and Jonah Hill, who appeared alongside Rogen in “Knocked Up.”
All three lead actors play themselves, though the portrayals are somewhat fictionalized versions of their real-life personas. In fact, all of the actors appearing in the film play a version of themselves, which explains why so many of the actors in the film have worked together on other projects. The film takes place at a party thrown by James Franco in Los Angeles. As catastrophic events unfold, the characters in the film, presumably acting as they would in real life, must fend for themselves as the world comes to an end. Moviegoers are faced with some of their most beloved actors taking on some pretty untraditional challenges in order to survive in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, setting the stage for plenty of laughs.
The supporting cast in “This is the End” includes several alumni from “The Office.” Both Mindy Kaling and Craig Robinson appear in the film. Seth Rogen recently appeared as a guest star on Kaling’s new sitcom “The Mindy Project.” Rogen played one of many love interests to appear on the show during its inaugural season. Robinson had a small role as a bouncer in “Knocked Up.”
The crossover between the actors in the film who have appeared in previous projects together does not stop at the office. Jason Segal, who also appeared in “Freaks and Geeks” with Franco and Rogen, appears in the film. “Superbad” actor Michael Cera shows up in “This is the End.” Rogen and Jonah Hill also appeared in “Superbad” with Cera. Paul Rudd, who has previously appeared with Seth Rogen in “Knocked Up and “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” makes his obligatory appearance this film, as he now does in any hot new comedy much to the delight of moviegoers.
Not all of the big names in “This is the End” are those you would expect to see in a James Franco or Seth Rogen movie. The Backstreet Boys make an appearance, as does Rhianna. Comedians Kevin Hart and Aziz Ansari bring their own versions of funny to the film, and People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” Channing Tatum even pops in for a bit. “Harry Potter” megastar Emma Watson also stops by for a spell.
Other familiar faces you might recognize include David Krumholtz, Jay Baruchel, and the man who brought us McLovin from “Superbad” Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Michael Star has appeared in “Knocked Up” and “Superbad” as well as “Parks and Recreation” with Aziz Ansari and “How I Met Your Mother” with Jason Segal. These character actors don’t necessarily have the name recognitions as some other cast members do, but their faces are instantly recognizable.
What makes this film compelling is not just the cast of actors. The fact that these actors are playing themselves and lampooning their public personas is a huge draw for celebrity-loving audiences. It also gives everyone watching a chance to glimpse into the personalities of some of their favorite performers without having to watch a formatted talk show. Of course, it is obvious that Rogen and the crew are playing fictionalized versions of themselves, but there is a bit of truth behind each joke, or so we hope.
It seems as though getting this cast of actors together for a film might be nearly impossible, but Seth Rogen and James Franco’s names hold a lot of weight in Hollywood, and their films tend to do well at the box office. Rogen is banking on the fact that moviegoers will feel like they are part of the private joke that really is the whole film. Hopefully, comedy film fans won’t grow tired of seeing the same crop of actors pop up in every film, but even if they do, “This is the End” succeeds simply because of its unique format. Fans of the film will get the sense that “This is the End” was a lot of fun to work on and that the cast truly likes one another, making it an easy movie to sit back and enjoy.
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