Jewish Journal


July 27, 2010

How Jewy is Seth Rogen’s Green Hornet?



Seth Rogen at Comic-Con on July 23. Photo courtesy Columbia Tristar

Seth Rogen tends to play characters who closely resemble … well, Seth Rogen. So does that make his modern take on Britt Reid—the masked vigilante newspaper publisher at the center of “The Green Hornet”—a Jewish action hero?

“Actually, Tom Wilkinson [who plays James Reid, Britt Reid’s father] is decidedly not Jewish,” Rogen told GeekHeeb at Comic-Con. “The Green Hornet is half-Jewish at best.”

Still, Rogen says real life does help inspire his Britt Reid, especially at the beginning of the action-comedy directed by Michel Gondry.

“We really wanted to show the journey of a guy from being very unheroic to ultimately being a hero. And so in the very unheroic parts of the movie I think I was able to inject a lot of my own personality in. And as the character evolves, he becomes more of what you would consider the traditional heroic type,” he said.

Rogen traces the inspiration for his big-screen “Green Hornet,” which co-stars Christoph Waltz and Cameron Diaz, back to his youth in Vancouver. After an episode of the campy 1960s “Batman,” Rogen and Evan Goldberg, his childhood friend/writing partner, would watch the 1966 “Green Hornet” series, starring Van Williams as Britt Reid and Bruce Lee as Kato.

“We wanted to write a movie about a hero and a sidekick and the relationship between them, and explore that. We just realized ‘The Green Hornet’ was the perfect movie to do that with, because of how famous Kato is in relation to the Green Hornet,” said Rogen, who describes himself as a big fan of Bruce Lee.

But calling Kato a sidekick in this “Green Hornet,” scheduled to open Jan. 14, is a bit of misnomer. In the script by Rogen and Goldberg, Kato (Jay Chou) is equal – if not superior – to Britt Reid.

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