What a wild year 2014 was for Seth Rogen. The comic actor had a big hit with Neighbors, went to Washington for Alzheimer's awareness and set off an international incident with his provocative film, The Interview. He's our CelebStoner of the Year.
In February, he spoke at a Senate hearing about Alzheimer's. His mother-in-law suffers from the debilitating disease. Rogen and his wife Lauren Miller run Hilarity for Charity. They held several high-profile fundraisers this year.
Asked to "Spill the Herbal Tea" about pot-smoking actors, comedians and musicians by Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens in March, Rogen revealed that his Pineapple Express partner James Franco "doesn't smoke weed - that's why he's such a good actor." He lamented never having toked with Willie Nelson and checked off fellow stoners Sarah Silverman, Snoop Dogg and Jonah Hill.
In May, Rogen co-starred with Rose Byrne in Nicholas Stoller's stoner flick Neighbors, which has grossed $150 million, 18th best in 2014. Playing a young couple besieged by the frat house next door, Rogen and Byrne play it cool at first, then decide to outwit the hedonistic horde.
After the mass shooting in Santa Barbara by a disturbed college student, Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday cited Neighbors' focus on beefy frat boys and sorority babes as a possible contributing factor to Elliot Rodgers' rampage. Rogen, who didn't write or direct Neighbors, took offense, tweeting that he "found the article insulting and misinformed."
But this was nothing compared to the shit-storm Rogen and his writing and directing partner Evan Goldberg started with The Interview. Months ago, when trailers started hitting You Tube, it became clear that the movie was a complete mockery of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Even more ridiculous, the script had them conspiring to kill the Supreme Leader. The so-called Democratic People's Republic of Korea apparently didn't get the joke. They called the movie an act of terror.
In the run-up to the planned Dec. 25 release, Rogen announced he was going to screen the movie in Denver for a theater full of stoners, promising in a tweet, "We can smoke weed in the theater." Well, not quite. After one venue change, the show went on, sans marijuana. Rogen's only recourse to ply attendees with tequila.
Perhaps that was a sign things were not quite working out of The Interview. Shortly thereafter, Sony Pictures' computer system was hacked, causing immense embassment to the company's honchos. This was followed by threats directed at theaters and theater-goers. In rapid succession, theater chains balked and the movie was pulled.
Known for his marijuana use and advocacy by the younger Hollywood crowd, Rogen told a surprised Bill Maher in a recent interview on Real Time that he likes to get high during the day. "It's work fuel," Rogen replied. "It fuels the fire."
A former High Times Stoner of the Year in 2007, Seth Rogen can now add CelebStoner of the Year to his many accolades.
Honorable mentions: 2013 Stoner of the Year Miley Cyrus continued to live up to her title with marijuana-leaf outfits and sundry other pot-related stunts… The aforementioned Tommy Chong also began expanding his empire with a series of product endorsements. Look for more from him in 2015… Sarah Silverman won an Emmy and lit up the red carpet with her vape pen… Speaking of vape pens, Whoopi Goldberg came out in her Cannabis column, announcing she uses weed for glaucoma… Bill Maher had another solid season on Real Time… Susan Sarandon was in the news a lot about pot, and showed up at High Times' 40th Anniversary party… Anthony Bourdain continued his run as TV's favorite travel-foodie host with the Emmy-winning Parts Unknown… Amy Poehler won a Golden Gliobe for Parks and Recreation and released her book, Yes Please… Matthew McConaughey swept the award shows with his terrific turn in Dallas Buyers Club, and partnered with Woody Harrelson on True Detective. Alright, alright, alright already!… Willie Nelson released two new albums, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone, hosted his annual Farm Aid concert and continued to criss-cross the country in his tour bus, performing for thousands of adoring fans. He turned 81 in April!