Interview: Seth Rogen discusses comedy, music and his AMC show ‘Preacher’

AMC’s original series, “Preacher,” is one of the best shows on television. And we know this is true because executive producer, Seth Rogen, said so himself. On Thursday, July 13, guests were invited to LACMA to attend a Film Independent screening of episode 5, ahead of its July 17 airdate. AXS spoke with Seth and the show’s executive producers: Seth’s longtime writing partner Evan Goldberg (‘Superbad,’ ‘Knocked Up,’ ‘Pineapple Express’) and Sam Catlin (‘Breaking Bad’) at the special event.

“Preacher [the comic book series] is something we’ve loved for a long time. I think the style of it, the tone and the combination of genres is something that Evan and I have always been very drawn to,” Rogen told AXS. The series, now in its second season, does a beautiful job of blending genres like no other show on television does. It’s not surprising, being that Rogen and Goldberg’s long list of hits match just about any in the history of Hollywood. Together with Catlin, the three bring out not only the funny, but also the dramatic, action-packed, supernatural, suspense-filled moments that keep audiences glued to their TV sets. “The idea of being able to bring something like that to life just felt exciting to me,” Rogen said. “Like there was nothing else out there really like it.”

Fans of “Preacher” also know one of the highlights of the show is the music. The song list boasts artists from Dexys Midnight Runners, to Willie Nelson, to Johnny Cash, to The Rolling Stones. The way the series combines the music with emotions that don’t necessarily feel like they should go together, is a brilliant move on their part. “Sometimes we’ll go through a hundred songs for something that will play for 15 seconds but I think inherently you just try to get music you like in the show,” Rogen explained about the process. In fact, Catlin even wrote Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” into the pilot, which Goldberg says is something they all still talk about.

“At the time, and probably still, as directors, that scene is our favorite thing we’ve ever done,” he remarked.

As a comedian, writer and director, Seth has always found a way to somehow cross many worlds over into one, just like he and Goldberg and Catlin are doing now with “Preacher.” “I think everyone uses it [the vehicle of comedy] differently,” Rogen mused.

“What we found with some of our movies was that it’s been a good way to get people to approach things that maybe they wouldn’t want to think about, or a good way to tell stories that maybe would be a little too unpleasant to tell were they not funny, or explore ideas that were maybe too dark to really want to dwell on – unless we presented them in a funny way. So, that’s what we’ve enjoyed doing. You know, especially as we’ve gotten a little older, I think as we try to find ways to express the ideas that we actually think about a lot, we do it in ways that are a lot more fun to think about.”

When asked about his own journey so far and getting to the moment in time where he’s at now, Rogen shared with AXS, “The fact that I have a job that I like, that I’m allowed to work with people that I like, that I get to express myself creatively and make things that when I look at them I feel are good representations of what I’m trying to put out there, is really great. I have a wife who I love a lot, a great dog. Everything’s wonderful. It’s a good life.” He paused for a moment and leading with his unmistakable laugh added, “There was a lot of traffic getting here, though. So sometimes it’s all terrible. You never know.”

You can see more of the genius behind Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin in “Preacher,” on AMC, Mondays at 9/8c.

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