Up for a screwball comedy? Seth Rogen and Zac Efron open up about waging war against each other and going improv in their new comedy Neighbors.
What makes a bad neighbor? For, Mac and Kelly (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne), a young married couple with a new baby, find their quiet suburban life in turned upside down when a hard-partying fraternity, led by Zac Efron’ and his right hand man Pete (Dave Franco), moves in next door to their new home.
As the frat gang begins to party, Mac and Kelly still wants to believe that they’re hip and cool. But that soon ends.
“Mac and Kelly are the first of their friends to have bought a house and have a baby and don’t have a large frame of reference for how the whole adulthood thing works,” explains Rogen. “You see early on that they’re struggling with the fact that they can’t go out and party anymore with their friends and keep asking themselves when things will get back to normal. They haven’t quite come to grips with the fact that once you have a baby, that doesn’t happen again.”
So naturally, when Mac and Kelly discover that their new next-door neighbors are none other than dozens of Delta Psi Beta fraternity brothers—led by charismatic president Teddy Sanders (Efron)—they try to play along—for a while— in order to deal with the awkward situation.
Leading the frat pack is none other than Zac Efron. When casting the perfect and charming Teddy, Rogen says they looked no further than the heartthrob. “Zac loved it and said ‘Yes’ right in the room,” said Rogen. “We were super psyched.”
Of course, as with most Rogen movies, hilarity ensues when the frat’s parties next door grow increasingly more epic, as both sides of the property line begin to fend for their turf and begin to sabotage one another.
For Efron the story was just the thing he was looking to dive into after going through personal problems. He says it was a no-brainer to work with Rogen, who the actor thinks is the king of screwball comedy. “What’s brilliant about Seth is sort of this new kind of breed of comedy that he’s pioneered,” said Efron. “Our generation identifies with it in a very real way.”
Although Efron has dipped his toe in comedy with 17 Again, the actor admits this was on another level and that he was intimidated by Rogen’s known use of Improv on set. “This level of improv is unlike anything I’ve ever done before and is very fast-paced,” Efron explains. “You have to be ready for anything but it can be hard not to break character, especially when working with Seth because he is just so ridiculously funny. He seems to never break character, and if he does the entire place starts laughing. I’ve never had this much fun just existing in a scene.”
Neighbors opens May 9 and stars Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco.