If you haven’t seen This Is the End, then stop reading now. Better yet, stop reading, go straight to the theater, watch it, and then come back.
Go ahead. We’ll wait.
Because once you have seen it, you’re going to want to talk about the amazing party-like-it’s-1997 musical finale in which Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen get a private concert in heaven from none other than Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and Kevin Richards — a.k.a. The Backstreet Boys. In the movie, the Boys appear when Jay (who’s secretly a huge BSB fan) learns that he can make his wildest fantasies come true behind the pearly gates. He wishes for them, and there they are.
As it turns out, the behind-the-scenes story of how the filmmakers got the BSB to agree to the scene isn’t much more complicated than that. “Jay has been a huge fan for a long time,” says McLean, who stopped by the EW offices last month with his bandmates to talk about their upcoming US tour and fifth album, In a World Like This. “They reached out to our management. They were done with shooting, but they didn’t have a good enough ending. They were like, ‘We’re screwed if you guys say no.’” So they said yes, dropping by to shoot the whole scene in one day in front of a greenscreen.
According to Dorough, this actually wasn’t the Boys first run-in with This Is the End co-writer, co-director, co-star Rogen. And it may not be the last, either. “We’ve actually created a really interesting relationship with Seth,” Dorough says. “He owes us a favor now. We might see if he’ll either direct our first music video [for the single “In a World Like This”] or cameo.”