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Q and A With Seth Rogen

The actor and producer talks to us about his new film 50/50, cancer, and who he'd choose for a roommate if he were stuck in the hospital for six months.

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Will is definitely the type to search online, looking up all sorts of potential problems.

Is there a history of cancer in your own family? If so, what types, and do you take any specific health precautions now?

Not a huge history. Some. I try to eat healthy. And I ingest as few horrible chemicals as possible. And I wear sunscreen!

If you were to receive a scary diagnosis, what in life would you want to do first before facing life-or-death treatment?

I've done a lot of the things that I want to do. I think I'd just keep going.

Your fiancé, Lauren Miller, makes a brief appearance in 50/50, and you were interviewed together on Larry King's special, Unthinkable: The Alzheimer's Epidemic. [Miller's mother, age 59, currently has the disease.] What message would you like to relay about this degenerative condition?

I think a lot of young people don't realize Alzheimer's is not something that just affects our grandparents' generation. It will soon affect our parents' generation and eventually our generation. I don't expect people my age to spend a lot of time thinking about charities, but I want to get them to start thinking about what type of organization they'll want to dedicate more of their time, money, and energy to. Now that I've seen [Alzheimer's] firsthand, I think it's something that can use a lot of support.

For a comedian you've dipped your toes into some pretty serious waters. (In 2009's Funny People, a lead character also faces down a fatal disease.) Is there a dramatic actor buried deep within you trying to get out?

I don't know; I don't think so. One school of thought I sometimes subscribe to is the less funny something is, the more of a feat it is to make something funny out of it. I don't think every movie needs to be about something miserable and heavy, but I do think that's a very interesting creative endeavor. When I look at 50/50 I'm really proud of that aspect of it. It's about something very serious, and we don't shy away from it in any way, but at the same time we provide a movie that really makes you laugh really, really hard at times.

You often play lovable if loutish boy-men. How close are these guys to the real Seth Rogen?

You tell me! They don't feel like me. I mean, socio-economically they're all so different from me, I don't really relate to them…

Do you have a hero from the worlds of acting, comedy or otherwise?

I wouldn't be able to narrow it down to one person. That would be too hard. I have many heroes. But who has inspired me? Trey Parker and Matt Stone consistently do incredibly funny stuff. And if there's anyone I get incredibly jealous of, it's them.

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