2008 MTV Movie Awards: Where there's smoke, there's fire | EW.com

Movies | Inside Movies

2008 MTV Movie Awards: Where there's smoke, there's fire

MTV awards shows have certainly seen their share of natural disasters (like in 2005, when the Video Music Awards in Miami withstood the brutal beginnings of Hurricane Katrina), but with a fire blazing at Universal’s backlot mere hours before the red carpet was scheduled to kick off, attendees, press, and staff at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards were unsure whether the show, beamed live from the adjacent Gibson Ampitheater, would actually go on. As it was, re-routed traffic closed off several approaches to Universal’s Citywalk, causing major delays, but it was the billowing smoke overhead and an audible explosion that threatened to move arrivals indoors and call off the on-site after-party. Fortunately, the skies cleared in time for the talent to show and, not surprisingly, some Los Angeles-based stars hardly seemed fazed by the blaze. “L.A. is a modern Sodom and Gomorrah so there’s always some kind of natural disaster going on,” The Office’s Rainn Wilson told EW.com. “It’s par for the course. There’s always a fire, a landslide, someone getting arrested…. The night is still young.”

Sure enough, an hour later, audience members were visibly shocked by an entirely different kind of smoke emanating from the stage. Viewers at home may not have noticed, since a last-minute decision was made to pull the camera so far back that Seth Rogen and James Franco, stars of this summer’s stoner caper Pineapple Express, were but specks in the middle of the screen, but during their presentation for Best Summer Movie So Far, Rogen lit what looked like a joint, and, according to some seated inside, smelled like one, too. Though his rep categorically denies it was the real thing, but rather an MTV-sanctioned prop specifically made for the bit, the debate continued well into the post-party. “It would be a ballsy move,” offered Cisco Adler, “but no way. They’re funny, but they’re not stupid.” As for Rogen? He was clearly pleased by the chatter. “Good, that means it worked,” he said with his trademark chuckle as he made his exit. (With reporting by Jenny Sundel)