Article by Sam Riches, Growth Op
Jay Baruchel, who grew up in Montreal, but now calls Toronto home, has never been shy about his love for weed.
It’s figured prominently in many of the movies Baruchel has had a hand in, whether it was starring alongside friend and fellow stoner Seth Rogen in films like This Is the End and Knocked Up, or writing 2011’s Goon and directing the follow-up Goon: Last of the Enforcers.
His latest film, a horror feature titled Random Acts of Violence was released in August, and Baruchel recently chatted with High Times about his creative process and where cannabis fits into his movie-making world.
When it comes to weed and work, Baruchel says he’s established some ground rules. Mainly, he doesn’t consume any cannabis while on set.
“I can’t smoke any dope on set; I don’t want to,” he says. “Set’s big-boy-pants time. So much time and money, there’s too much at risk at every fucking second of the day on set. I can’t afford to do that.”
But when writing, editing and working through post-production, that changes. In the case of 2017’s Goon: Last of the Enforcers, Baruchel says he cut the final version of the film in his basement and “smoked weed the whole fucking time.”
The weed might have been necessary as Baruchel says “he lost his mind” trying to wrap up the film on a tight deadline while living as a bachelor in a house of other bachelors.
“When I think of cutting Goon 2, I think of this one specific night. We knew the producers were coming by the house in the morning to see where we were at. We’re about to break for fucking Christmas. We really wanted to fucking nail the thing. We had cut all day and we had to screen it once before we all went to bed,” he says.
“We started this fucking screening in the basement after staring at the bloody screen all day. At midnight, I remember just sitting there in my basement, wearing sunglasses, just gripping a bong, like, ‘I’m losing my mind here. I’m losing my mind. I’m just with my fucking sunglasses on trying to cut this, trying to make sense of this hockey fucking movie.’ I lost my mind. I actually lost my fucking mind.”
Cannabis wasn’t his only coping mechanism, however. Baruchel says he also benefited from a therapeutic “kicking tree” in his backyard.
“We had this old, dirty, shitty dead tree in my yard that we called the kicking tree. We would just take a break and I’ll just jump-kick this tree or hack it with a hatchet. Then we’d go fucking wrestle in the basement. It was so stupid.”
As for cannabis consumption in his free time, Baruchel says he’s a big fan of mixing weed and history documentaries.