Paul Middleditch’s horror comedy Rapture-Palooza, hits limited theaters and VOD platforms on Friday June 7 from Lionsgate. Along with some other journalists (ie I asked a few of these questions but not the “anal” one), I recently had a chance to sit down with stars Craig Robinson (This Is The End, Pineapple Express) and Rob Huebel (I Love You, Man) to talk about the film. They riff on being submissive to the Anti-Christ, playing douchebags and real-life end of the world scenarios.
Anna Kendrick, John Francis Daley, Rob Corddry and Ken Jeong also star in this new end of the world comedy from Lionsgate.
“When the Apocalypse actually happens and a billion people are raptured up to heaven, Lindsey (Anna Kendrick, Pitch Perfect) and her boyfriend Ben (John Francis Daley, TV’s “Bones”) are left behind in suburban Seattle. The young couple tries their best to lead a normal life surrounded by talking locusts, blood rain showers and pot-smoking wraiths. But when The Beast (Craig Robinson, TV’s “The Office”) makes his home base in their neighborhood, Lindsey finds herself the object of his affection. With the help of her family, friends and a lawn-mowing zombie neighbor (Tom Lennon, TV’s “Reno 911”), the young couple set off to stop the Anti-Christ from taking her as his bride…and just maybe, saving the world in the process.”
You play sort of a dominant/submissive relationship in this movie. Did that take a while to cement or did it come naturally to you?
Huebel: That wasn’t even in the script. That just came out.
Robinson: That came through improv and stuff. And we did some other ridiculous stuff where I had a hypnotic hold on him.
Huebel: A Darth Vader stranglehold.
Robinson: And later it was going to be revealed that I didn’t have that hold on him.
Huebel: This is just one of those movies where we were given free reign to improvise a lot and we thought it would be funny if he could really use his Anti-Christ powers over me. Just the worst boss ever.
How is it playing the Anti-Christ?
Robinson: Lionsgate sent me the script and I dug it. I saw how much fun the character was gonna have, and I dug it.
Huebel: It’s also good that you got to it before Daniel Day Lewis.
Craig, you’ve got two apocalypse movies coming out a few weeks from each other. Do you know something we don’t?
Robinson: I’m not supposed to talk about it but I will, I don’t know anything. This Is The End was shot last year, but Rapture-Palooza was shot two years ago. What was interesting about them is that when we were doing this one, that minister had predicted that the world was going to end. And then of course when we shot This Is The End, the Mayan calendar predicted the world was going to end then as well.
Huebel: If we keep shooting apocalyptic movies eventually we’re going to be right.
The Anti-Christ promises Anna Kendrick no anal on the first date. Can we infer that he’s a class act?
Robinson: Absolutely. That’s something you want to slide into on the second date. He feels like he’s being charming and classy.
Rob, a lot of your comedic roles from I Love You, Man to The Other Guys have a puffed up bravado to them. But you also have a softer comedic presence in something like The Descendants. Where would you say your actual comedic voice lies?
Huebel: You know, I like to do both of those things. I love to play douchebags and *ssholes. I have a couples of brothers and we just grew up making fun of guys who were loud, cocky jerks. I think that’s really funny, but you can’t make a living just doing that. So when you get lucky enough to work with someone like Alexander Payne, that’s just a really different kind of movie. That’s a very different tone. It’s fun to go back and forth.
Craig, a couple of posters for your film Peeples feature one of the killers for another Lionsgate film coming out in August called You’re Next…
Robinson: I heard about that. There’s a crossover for Temptation as well. I heard about that too. There is a Peeples poster out where you have a family dressed for a nice family picture on the beach and in the front I’m buried up to my head in sand. So it looks like they decapitated me and put me there… it’s a weird way to promote a comedy. I haven’t seen it yet, it sounds pretty interesting.