10 Screenwriters to Watch

Rogen is an actor, but that’s known. More of a secret: Writing partner Goldberg is an actor, too.

Together, the “Superbad” scribes put out an air of slacker laziness, when behind the scenes they are writing almost nonstop.

“We feel lazy,” Rogen says, “but we seem to be doing a lot.”

“It’s a contradiction to both of our natural characters,” Goldberg adds. “We’re lazy, but with the opportunities we’ve gotten, there’s a difference between being lazy and completely idiotic.”

Though only in their mid-20s, the childhood friends can call themselves veterans, having begun writing together at age 13.

Further evidence of their labor sits in the pile of rejected “Superbad” drafts — “18 distinctly different versions,” according to Goldberg — before they finally locked in on the one that sparked this summer’s release.

Even when “Superbad” — about three sex-obsessed high-schoolers on a mission to get to a party — was in production, the writing duo kept looking for more ways to tweak the final product.

“It’s mostly out of fear,” Rogen says. “I will never pretend that I will know exactly what will make people laugh every time.”

The way “Superbad” director Greg Mottola talks about them, this insecurity could be just another act.

“Seth and Evan get that good dialogue is not just punchlines, but that it’s behavior,” Mottola says. “For instance, I found the character of Seth’s rants in ‘Superbad’ to be an authentic expression of hormonal anguish — disguised as some of the filthiest shit you’ve ever heard come out of a human mouth. Seth and Evan have a point of view on what’s really funny, and they’re not going to water it down for prigs. I love that about them.”

Moving forward, the former “Da Ali G Show” writers have already completed 2008’s “The Pineapple Express,” which Rogen sums up as the ultimate “weed action movie.” Beyond that, several projects and dozens of ideas percolate.

“We have an agenda,” Goldberg says. “We have several films that we’ve been planning to make and wanted to make. Also, when people present us with new projects, there’s no good way to say no, and we put things on hold.”

So forgive them if they actually take one moment to relax. Really relax.

“Right now,” Rogen says on a phone interview, “I’m literally sitting in my backyard, doing nothing.”

Vital Stats
Ages: Goldberg, 24; Rogen, 25
Provenance: Both of Vancouver
Inspired by: Goldberg: “The Simpsons,” “The Kids in the Hall” and “The Twilight Zone”; Rogen: “Quentin Tarantino (‘Pulp Fiction’ was mind-boggling to me when I was young) …, ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘The Simpsons’ — I think those were equally of importance.”
Reps: Agents: Blair Belcher, Larry Salz, UTA; attorney: Fred Toczek at Nelson Felker Toczek Davis

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