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October 2008
ZAC AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO | An Interview with Craig Robinson

An Interview with Craig Robinson
by Wilson Morales

October 27, 2008

When things are going for one actor and the films that he’s in, it affects others. Just ask Craig Robinson. Besides appearing as Darryl Philbin on TV’s The Office, Robinson has had the pleasure in appearing in three of Seth Rogen’s film, which two of them becoming box office hits: ‘Knocked Up’ and ‘Pineapple Express’. In his latest film, ‘Zac and Miri Make a Porno’, Robinson stars along with Rogen and Elizabeth Banks, but this time he has a bigger role.

Lifelong platonic friends Zack (Rogen) and Miri (Banks) look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought.

In speaking with blackfilm.com, Robinson talks about his success thus far, working with Rogen, and having platonic relationships.

With the success of ‘The Office’ and the films that you have had this year with ‘Pineapple Express’ and hopefully this one, you really have had a breakout year. How does that make you feel?

Craig Robinson: It’s nice. I’ve been at this for a minute, so it’s cool. I think one of the best parts is that the people I get to work with have me thinking that I’m doing something right. They are not just throwing in scenes with Seth Rogen, who’s fire now, and someone like Will Ferrell unless you are doing something good. I’m just enjoying the ride and trying to keep up.

This is the second time you have worked with Seth Rogen after ‘Pineapple Express’. How is like this time around?

CR: In this film, we are playing buddies, whereas in the other film, my character was trying to kill him. It was fun because we got to riff off each other as two friends would. My character is tight with his money and then invests in his idea. It’s always cool working with Seth because every line he does, he improves a lot and every time he does it, he tops himself. It’s always nice to get that going.

How was it working with Tisha Campbell as your wife?

CR: Tisha came in and she came out guns blazing. When they said, ‘Action’ and she came after me and the cameraman said, ‘You’re going to take that’? She’s an awesome human being and we just had a great time.

How are you balancing doing films and the TV show?

CR: Contractually, I’m not in every episode of ‘The Office’ and that allows me to do films and other projects. We’re still trying to get the schedule together. During the writers’ strike last year, I ended up getting a few projects and this was one of them.

What other film work are you looking to do? Anything dramatic?

CR: There are these logical steps of natural progression and keeps happening with my career and at some point the dramatic work will come along. I did a dramatic short called ‘Memphis Calling’ where I played a prisoner on death row. I definitely look forward to branching out. I don’t want to chase too hard because I may lose the opportunity. I let it come to me.

Have you ever watch a porn film where after viewing it, you realize you just wasted your time?

CR: Yes. Absolutely. I’m surprised by the number of porn producers that are out there that don’t put any care into the business. Folks are just doing whatever. There is no care or concern. I don’t know how to describe it. You just hope to get a favorite scene that you can keep going back to.

What works with the film is the chemistry that one can see and feel with the cast. Was it all acting or did you guys get to know each other off the set?

CR: We had several rehearsals and we spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh. We would go bowling together and Katie (Morgan) became like a little sister to me. I already knew Seth and Elizabeth is as sweet as she can be. We all had a good time because we wanted to make a good film.

What’s the difference with Seth Rogen in this film that you didn’t see in ‘Pineapple Express’?

CR: I saw some growth. I saw his relationship with Elizabeth and you can really identify with those characters; feelings of jealousy and them longing for each other. He was the perfect cast choice to show his heart and find love, but it just to be while making a porno movie.

What do you think keeps two good friends, who may have feelings for each other, from opening up and not crossing that boundary?

CR: Perhaps because in this film, they are roommates and they shouldn’t cross that boundary. There is that one point where one felt strongly about the other and the other wasn’t feeling that way and then they flip it up, and so you can never be too careful with how you approach someone with strong feelings. It’s natural for people to wait and see what happens.

Do you think it’s possible for a guy to live with someone without having to explore those thoughts?

CR: I’ve lived that story. I had a girl stay in my apartment for some time and she was amazing, and I just kept to myself. So, I know it’s possible. It’s hard, but it’s possible.

Between the show and the films, what keeps you grounded?

CR: God makes sure that my head doesn’t get too big. I have good people in my life that I trust and I have amazing friends. I have had moments where my head swelled a little bit and it doesn’t become me. I think one of the good things I do is go on the road and do comedy and touch the people and talk about my life to fans and it’s great to get those accolades. I have no problem being humbled because I know it can all be taken away. You never know how long this thing is going to run so I just try to keep doing my thing.

Why should anyone see ‘Zac and Miri Make a Porno’?

CR: Because you are going to come away with the heart of it. It’s also funny as hell.

ZAC AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO opens on October 31, 2008


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