Photo: Jamie McCarthy (Getty)
Ten years ago, my buddies and I space-cruised to the nearest Cinemark to see the midnight premiere of Pineapple Express. I remember the theater being jam-packed, and by the smell alone I’m fairly confident everyone was stoned, or at least contact high. The rest of the night was full of giggles and delighted potheads experiencing one of my favorite stoner comedies of all-time.
In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the release date, co-writer and star Seth Rogen took to Twitter to share a bunch of facts about the fan-favorite movie starring Rogen, James Franco, and Danny McBride. Below are a few favorite behind-the-scenes tidbits that the actor shared.
Leave It Up to the Experts
Often times when you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Or at least find someone who knows what they’re doing.
Rogen and his co-writing partner, Evan Goldberg, took on the job of rolling all of the cross joints for the film, approximately 100 of them, since nobody else on the film crew knew how to properly roll them.
It’s All in the Name
The name “Pineapple Express” actually comes from a Hawaiian weather system that sometimes hits the Pacific Northwest. Rogen and Goldberg are from that area and once agreed that Pineapple Express would someday be a great name for a movie.
There were previously no strains of weed called Pineapple Express, but the writers knew that “if one day, people are out there selling weed called Pineapple Express, it worked.” Obviously, the newly inspired strain exploded in popularity after the movie premiered and still sticks a decade later.
What the Hell is Snicklefritz, Anyway?
The story behind the name used to describe Saul’s crappy weed, Snicklefritz, might be my favorite tidbit Rogen shared. Although it sounds like one of many random, silly names given to weed strains, this one, in particular, was inspired by a person.
The practical FX supervisor for Pineapple Express would apparently refer to his second in command by the nickname Snicklefritz whenever the supervisor didn’t like what his second in command was doing. Rogen and Co. thought it was hilarious and, thus, Snicklefritz was born.
During his Twitter spam, Rogen revealed a fun connection between Pineapple Express and another fan-favorite comedy that Rogen stars in, Superbad:
The shots of the dick drawings on the principals desk in Superbad was actually filmed on the set of #PineappleExpress in the woods while we were shooting Dale and Saul destroying their cell phones.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) August 6, 2018
During any movie project, scripts and plans inevitably face necessary changes. For example, when Rogen and Goldberg wrote Pineapple Express, the initial plan was for Rogen to play Saul and Franco to play Dale. Franco decided he wanted to play Saul instead, and the two switched parts, which I think we can all agree was the best for both characters.
Another big change came when Ford pulled out of the film after they learned that Red’s character was originally supposed to kill Matheson with a Ford Fiesta. Not wanting their car to be involved in a movie murder, Ford back out (big mistake), which led to Rogen and his team switching the car to a Daewoo Lanos.
Rogen speaks for the rest of us when he commented that the change was “ultimately much funnier.”
Finally, Rogen revealed that Red was actually supposed to be killed (permanently) when he was shot for the first time while tied up in his apartment. Rogen and Goldberg thought McBride was too funny to let go so easily so they just kept bringing him back to life.
Rogen confirmed that to help promote Pineapple Express, they had a smoking billboard on Sunset Boulevard. It didn’t last, though, as the Los Angeles Fire Department shut it down since people kept thinking that the billboard was literally on fire.
Blood, Sweat, and Stitches
With Rogen, Franco and McBride all performing quite a bit of their own stunts, the actors suffered a number of injuries throughout the filming of the popular stoner comedy. For instance, during the big fight scene in Red’s house, Rogen broke a finger while McBride’s head was cracked open after Saul hits Red with the bong.
Mother Nature also proved to be dangerous after Franco ended up hitting his head on a screw that was holding a pad in place on a tree during the scene where Dale and Saul are running through the woods. Saul ends up wearing a headband for the rest of the movie to hide Franco’s stitches.
Walter White Wasn’t Scary Enough?
Joining in on the anniversary celebration, producer Judd Apatow shared his own behind-the-scenes fact by revealing on his Twitter that Bryan Cranston (the cook formerly known as Heisenberg on Breaking Bad) auditioned for a part in the movie. Apatow remembers saying, “I don’t think he seems scary enough to seem like a real drug dealer.”
Holy Shit! https://t.co/RF28PvMwvm
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) August 7, 2018
He also mused that if Cranston had been hired on Pineapple Express, then maybe the casting department for Breaking Bad would have said, “Not him, he always plays drug dealers.”
Is Pineapple Express on your favorite comedy movies list? What are your favorite scenes from the film? Share in the comments below!