Henry Jackman Points To Seth Rogen And Evan Goldberg's This Is The End For His 'Most Ironic Use Of Music Ever' [Exclusive]

Henry Jackman is one of the most prolific composers working in cinema today, with his musical prowess popping up in films across a wide spectrum of subgenres. He's provided the scores for superhero fare like "Kick-Ass," "X-Men: First Class," and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," family-friendly animated films like "Ron's Gone Wrong," "Wreck-It Ralph," and "Puss in Boots," and other high-profile releases like "Kong: Skull Island," "The Gray Man," and "Captain Phillips." But one of his most interesting avenues has been his collaborations with comedians Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg with "The Interview" and "This Is The End."

The latter is a hilarious apocalyptic comedy with an unbelievable ensemble cast including Rogen, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum, The Backstreet Boys, and regrettably, James Franco. With such a cast of big, animated personalities, it would make sense for a movie like "This is the End" to come with a zany score to accompany the comedy. However, given the film's apocalyptic plotline, Jackman knew that the music needed to reflect the seriousness of scenes like demons coming to earth and a coked-out Cera getting impaled by a street light.

/Film's Jack Giroux spoke to Jackman for the second time this year (the first being for "The Gray Man") about his score work on Disney's "Strange World," and learned that Jackman believes his contributions to "This is the End" is his most "ironic" use of music, ever.

'I'm not writing silly music'

The success of the comedy in "This is the End" is contingent on whether or not the characters are treating the biblical apocalypse with the seriousness it deserves, as the humor lies in the juxtaposition. While all of the actors are playing fictionalized versions of themselves, they treat life-threatening situations with the utmost sincerity. It's the key to making "This is the End" work because if it was just a bunch of funny people yucking it up for two hours, the film would run the risk of becoming an exhausting chore to sit through. Composer Henry Jackman understood the assignment as well and made sure his music could emphasize the contrast.

"It's completely ridiculous what's happening on the screen, but I shouldn't be ridiculous," he said. "I'm not writing silly music. I'm being influenced by Jerry Goldsmith's 'The Omen' score." Jackman told us that his intention was to play "dead straight the mythic Satanic end of the world in a massively overdramatic 'Carmina Burana' gone Satanic score that's taking itself ludicrously seriously and standing that up against what's happening on screen." Jackman saw his music as the "straight man" in the score, able to provide the grounded severity to the comedic hijinks of the film.

"Had it been some sort of movie in the '70s that was Satanic, that score would work," he noted. "It's a dead straight, massive, overblown [thing]." The decision paid off, as Jackman was nominated for the International Film Music Critics Award for Best Original Score for a Comedy Film for his work, and "This is the End" is one of the best comedy films of the Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg oeuvre.