Turning Tears into Laughter: An Interview with Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen
I recently conducted an interview with well-known comedic actor, Seth Rogen, and his lovely wife, Lauren Miller Rogen. I wanted to learn more about this couple and the secret to their mega-success.
Despite initially feeling intimidated, this famous couple greeted me with genuine warmth, and I immediately felt comfortable in their presence. Rogen may be one of the jolliest fellows I have ever encountered, while Lauren is humble and gracious.
This couple defies the typical Hollywood stereotype. They have been together for over 12 years. They sustain and nurture their personal relationship, have become A-list Hollywood celebrities, and have founded a thriving charitable organization together.
The following is what I learned from my time with the Rogens.
Personal Relationship – Quick Insights
Seth and Lauren shared that the number one ingredient that has kept their relationship strong throughout life is their respective ability to count on each other. They introduced me to a specific “rule” that they live by: The Two Week Rule. Seth explained that while they both travel regularly, “We have a ‘Two Week Rule.’ We never spend more than two weeks apart.”
The couple also clued me in to how they prevent personal burnout. Lauren noted, “We make sure to build in zone-out time.”
Seth explained that concept further. “We are really good at doing absolutely nothing together. We watch a lot of good – and bad – TV.”
Rest and relaxation in their busy lives, as a couple, is vital to fostering resilience and maintaining a high level of productivity.
A-List Hollywood Celebrities – Authenticity and Rejection
When I asked the Rogens to describe the pros and cons of being famous, Seth joked that he rarely needs to wait in a line or make a reservation at a restaurant. He continued, “Honestly, my fame is a much smaller part of my life than the fact that I have a job that I really, really like, and I am able to express my inner self. The older I get, the more I realize there are so few people that like their jobs at all. Lauren and I both have jobs we really like and allow for self-expression, and we are incredibly fortunate for that.”
Lauren, for her part, attributes authenticity as the secret to Seth’s success. “He has been successful because he keeps leaning into his personal strengths.” Lauren is an accomplished writer in her own accord, and is also adept at being herself. “You have to know what it is that you want. I always have clear goals, and it’s precisely when I am clear about them, I am able to achieve them. When I am just tossing ideas around, which is an important part of the process, I am not moving forward as much as I am when I am working towards one clear goal. You have to first figure out what that one thing is.”
Seth agreed that many people share the desire for success, but admittedly do not know what they want to pursue. He joked that people will say to him, “Seth, I want to be successful.”
He responds, “Okay, doing what?”
And then they say, “Uh… I dunno.”
He continued that once you know what you want to do, you have to work hard to achieve it. However, both he and Lauren noted a caveat: “The only way you can passionately work hard at something long-term is when you are doing what is authentic to you.”
Lauren expounded, “Even when we get stressed out, we are doing something we really enjoy and care about. For example, I am currently creating a movie, and it has been a long road, and I am really tired. But I love it, and I am happy to be tired [as a result].”
I asked Seth and Lauren how they handle rejection, a natural component to such a competitive industry. Lauren explained, “As creative people, we experience rejection all of the time. It’s part of what we signed up for. But I have never been the type of person to take ‘no’ for an answer.”
Seth made sure to emphasize that while it clearly “affects you, we just need to keep on going. Move on. I usually tell myself it is not personal. It’s about them, not me. [Then] just try again, or try someone else.”
This mantra of perseverance is something that the pair have applied to more serious difficulties that they have encountered in life, beyond mere professional hardship. Lauren’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease at the young age of 55. Her mother was shocked, horrified, and ashamed. At the time, there was an embarrassing stigma associated with this diagnosis, and Lauren’s mom wanted it kept a secret. However, as her disease worsened, it became increasingly difficult to hide the ailment.
“[I was] extraordinarily affected when Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. We both felt sad and hopeless about any kind of action we could take, and felt paralyzed. One day, a friend suggested we do a comedy show to raise money for Alzheimer’s. However, it soon became clear that this was not going to just be an event, but that we needed to be an organization.”
In 2012, the Lauren and Seth founded Hilarity for Charity.
Hilarity for Charity
The organization grew organically, fulfilling a true need. “When we started talking about it, people would reach out and comment that they have the same story, and that is when we realized that we are not in this alone. There are so many people going through the very same thing, and want to share their story.
Lauren’s mother is still physically alive, though she has experienced great suffering due to her illness. Yet the family continues to put one foot in front of the other, and is proud to have created positive change from this challenge.
Hilarity for Charity represents this strength in the face of adversity, and through it they have found healing, not only for the global public suffering from Alzheimer’s, but within themselves as well.
Lauren exclaimed that “Creating this organization heals me. Since there is no treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s, there is very little action to take. So the fact that we’ve raised almost ten million dollars, and have given away over two hundred thousand hours of care, helps me feel that I have power over something which I actually have no power at all. It has made me feel so positive, [in a place] where I used to feel so very negative.”
When I asked this power couple what has brought them the greatest pride in their lives, their immediate response was the fact that they created Hilarity for Charity together. Recently, Kermit the Frog sang “The Rainbow Connection” with them during a Hilarity for Charity event. Lauren explained the power of that experience. “It was not about the specific song, or detail, but rather what it all represented. As we stood there singing on stage, we realized that we had created an organization so big that even The Muppets were willing to participate. That moment did not come out of nowhere – we had created something real and tangible.”
Seth agreed. “That was a moment that gives you nachas!”
Truly, it is Seth and Lauren who give us all nachas. An A-list Hollywood couple whose greatest pride is taken in an organization that was created to help others is something to be more than proud of. May Hashem give them continued strength to fulfill this mission. And as Kermit sings, hopefully “someday, we’ll find it” – a cure for Lauren’s mother and everyone else currently suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.