One of the questions I always find interesting is why actors pick the projects they choose. I figure there are three main reasons to take a job.
First is the obvious reason – the reason we all take jobs: to get paid. Maybe the money is so much that reasonable side of your brain won’t let you turn it down. We see this happen all the time, and I never blame anyone for just taking a job just for the money (a couple times anyway, there are limitations), cause that’s what I would do. I’ve taken many jobs I’m not proud of for a couple extra dollars an hour.
Second is the quality of the material. The expression of ‘acting for your next job’ is a popular expression among acting talent. If you think you can do something memorable with a particular piece of material that will be a shining star on your IMDB page, than absolutely do it regardless of other factors. Long term and ideally this is the best way to pick projects.
The final and most controversial reason to take a role is who you get to hang out with on the set. If you’re offered a role in a low-budget project with questionable material but get to be Alison Brie’s/Jon Hamm’s arm candy or get to hang with Bill Murray all day, then why not? The best example for this is what Adam Sandler and his crew do – you’re essentially getting paid to hang out with who you want.
When I look at the cast and crew involved with This Is The End, I wonder how many people just said yes without even looking at the script. It sure does look like being on this set would be awesome fun.