“The Interview” is a comedy film released in 2014, directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, who also stars in the movie alongside James Franco. The film gained considerable attention and controversy due to its plot, which centers around a fictional assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The story follows Dave Skylark (James Franco), the host of a popular celebrity tabloid talk show called “Skylark Tonight.” Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) is his loyal producer.
The show primarily covers gossip and lighthearted celebrity news. Despite its success, Dave and Aaron feel that their work lacks substance and credibility. When they discover that Kim Jong-un is a fan of their show, they see an opportunity to conduct a significant interview that could elevate their careers.
The CIA seizes on this chance and approaches them with a secret mission: they want Dave and Aaron to travel to North Korea and assassinate Kim Jong-un during the interview. The duo reluctantly agrees to the mission, and they head to North Korea with the CIA’s guidance.
As they arrive in North Korea, the two journalists are warmly welcomed by the regime, and they get to interview Kim Jong-un. However, things take a comedic and unexpected turn as they get involved in various absurd and hilarious situations.
Eventually, they start to question the real intentions of their mission and the moral implications of the assassination. The movie is hilarious. I laughed out loud several times. Principal photography on the film began in Vancouver, British Columbia, on October 10, 2013, and concluded on December 20, 2013.
- Franco, James as Dave Skylark – (born April 19, 1978) He is an actor, filmmaker, and college instructor. Never Been Kissed, Spider-Man, Deuces Wild, Spider-Man 2, Annapolis, The Wicker Man, Flyboys, Knocked Up, Spider-Man 3, Pineapple Express, The Green Hornet, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Spring Breakers, Oz the Great and Powerful, This Is the End, Homefront, Veronica Mars,. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Interview, Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha, Future World, TV episodes of Profiler, Freaks and Geeks, James Dean, The X-Files, General Hospital, Saturday Night Live, 11.22.63
- Rogen, Seth as Aaron Rapaport – (born April 15, 1982) A Canadian-American actor, comedian, and filmmaker. Donnie Darko, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse, Superbad, Pineapple Express, The Green Hornet, This Is the End, Neighbors, The Interview, Steve Jobs, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, TV episodes of Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, Saturday Night Live, The League, Arrested Development, Future Man, Santa Inc., Pam & Tommy, Platonic
- Caplan, Lizzy as Agent Lacey – (born June 30, 1982) Orange County, Mean Girls, Cloverfield, Hot Tub Time Machine, The Interview, Now You See Me 2, Extinction, TV episodes of Freaks and Geeks, Smallville, The Pitts, Tru Calling, Related, True Blood, Party Down, The League, Das Boot, Castle Rock
- Park, Randall as Kim Jong Un – (born March 23, 1974) The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It, Neighbors, Sex Tape, The Interview, Office Christmas Party, Snatched, Snatched, Aquaman, The Marvels, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, TV episodes of Alias, Wild ‘n Out, iCarly, Curb Your Enthusiasm, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Office, WandaVision, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Young Rock, Blockbuster, Human Resources
- Bang, Diana as Sook-yin Park – (born 1981) The Interview, The Cleanse, Entanglement, Coffee & Kareem, TV episodes of Aliens in America, Fringe, Bates Motel, Unspeakable, The Astronauts, The Order, Y: The Last Man, Resident Alien
- Simons, Timothy as Malcolm – (born June 12, 1978) Beneath the Harvest Sky, The Interview, Goosebumps, Ralph Breaks the Internet, The Hustle, TV episodes of Veep, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Looking for Alaska, Rugrats, HouseBroken, Fairfax, Candy
- Alexander, Reese as Agent Botwin – (born March 19, 1968) Postal, Stargate: Continuum, Far Cry, Kill Switch, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Hardwired, A Killer Among Us, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Extraterrestrial, The Interview, TV episodes of Eureka, Bionic Woman, Stargate: Atlantis, Smallville, Alice, Psych, The Jim, Supernatural, Fringe, Continuum, Spooksville, The Flash, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Nancy Drew, Van Helsing, Riverdale, The Power
- Holm, Anders as Jake – (born May 29, 1981) Neighbors, The Interview, A Happening of Monumental Proportions, TV episodes of The Mindy Project, Arrested Development, Champions, Inventing Anna, The Muppets Mayhem
- Chun, Charles Rahi as General Jong – (born February 28, 1967) Beverly Hills Cop III, Dumb & Dumber, Double Tap, The Interview, My Favorite Martian, TV episodes of General Hospital, Scrubs, The Young and the Restless, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Diagnosis Murder, The Single Guy, Chicago Hope
- Schwartz, Ben as Darryl – (born September 15, 1981) The Other Guys, The Interview, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, TV episodes of Bronx World Travelers, Undercovers, Parks and Recreation, Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, House of Lies, Modern Family, Space Force, Die Hart
The film also features cameo appearances from Eminem, Rob Lowe, Bill Maher, Seth Meyers, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Song Kang-ho, Brian Williams and Scott Pelley. Iggy Azalea, Nicki Minaj, Emma Stone, Zac Efron, and Guy Fieri appear in the title graphic card for Skylark Tonight.
“The Interview” generated significant controversy even before its release. North Korea, known for its strict censorship and control over media, expressed outrage and threats of retaliation against the United States if the film were to be released. North Korean state media condemned the movie, calling it an “act of war” and a “wanton act of terror.” This controversy led to concerns over the safety of theatergoers and sparked discussions about freedom of expression and artistic liberties.
Despite the controversy, the film was released in select theaters on December 25, 2014, and also made available for online streaming. It received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising its humor and satirical elements, while others found it to be tasteless and lacking in substance. Despite its initial limited release, “The Interview” gained considerable attention due to the unique circumstances surrounding its production and release.
The Guardians of Peace (GOP) is a hacking group that claimed responsibility for the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014. During the attack, the group breached the computer networks of Sony Pictures, leading to the leak of sensitive and confidential information. The cyberattack, which occurred in November 2014, resulted in the theft and release of a vast amount of data, including unreleased films, executive emails, employee information, and other internal documents.
The group also threatened to release more data if certain demands were not met, including the cancellation of the release of “The Interview.” The attack on Sony Pictures was believed to be in response to the release of the film “The Interview,” which portrayed a fictional assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. As mentioned earlier, the North Korean government had expressed strong opposition to the film, and some speculated that the attack might have been carried out by sympathizers or agents of North Korea.
The incident was a significant cybersecurity breach and caused a massive stir in the entertainment industry and beyond. It raised concerns about the vulnerability of companies to cyberattacks and highlighted the potential consequences of sensitive data leaks.
In response to the attack, the U.S. government attributed the cyberattack to North Korea and imposed sanctions on the country. The incident also led to discussions about cybersecurity, freedom of expression, and the implications of state-sponsored cyberattacks in the digital age.
Overall, the Sony Pictures cyberattack and the involvement of the “Guardians of Peace” became a landmark case in cybersecurity and cyberwarfare, showcasing the potential risks faced by individuals, corporations, and governments in an increasingly interconnected world.
Evan D. Goldberg (born September 15, 1982) is a Canadian filmmaker and comedian. He has collaborated with his childhood friend Seth Rogen on the films Superbad, Pineapple Express, This Is the End, The Interview, and Good Boys. I recommend the movie and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
- In addition to their infamous cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment during the “Interview” hack, the “Guardians of Peace” (GOP) has been associated with other cyber activities. The group is known for utilizing various hacking techniques to infiltrate and compromise computer systems, primarily targeting high-profile entities and organizations. While their exact identity and motivations remain uncertain, GOP has been linked to cyberattacks with political and social implications. The group’s actions have raised concerns about cybersecurity vulnerabilities and the potential risks posed by state-sponsored or politically motivated hacking campaigns. [Back]
- The Interview (2014) – IMDb https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2788710/
- ‘The Interview’: The Movie That Almost Caused an International Incident (The Hollywood Reporter) https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/general-news/interview-movie-that-caused-an-753212/
- The Interview (film) – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Interview_(2014_film)
- “Sony Pictures Hack: A Timeline.” BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30310427
- “Sony Hack.” Council on Foreign Relations. https://www.cfr.org/sony-hack
- “The Sony Hack, Explained.” Vox. https://www.vox.com/cards/sony-hack/what-was-the-sony-hack
- “Sony Pictures Hack: A Timeline.” BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30310427“The Sony Hack, Explained.” Vox. https://www.vox.com/cards/sony-hack/what-was-the-sony-hack