The 10 Moments in The Interview That Would’ve Most Upset North Korea

Photo: Sony Pictures

At this point, it’s hard to know if anyone, beyond the few who went to industry screenings, will ever see The Interview. This leaves a whole lot of people in the dark about what exactly happened and why it was a big deal. Fortunately, a few writers here at Vulture were able to see it. Here is a list of the ten moments that North Korea might’ve found most offensive. (Spoiler alert, though it might not matter if the movie never gets released.)

10. The Gruesome Death of Two of Kim Jong-un’s Guards
The U.S. government plan is to have David Skylark (James Franco) and Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) poisons Kim Jong-un by placing a small strip of poison on Kim’s hand when they shake hands. They mess this up and one of his guards finds the strip. They tell the guard it’s gum and he chews it, effectively poisoning himself super-hard. This all comes to a head a bit later, when the poison takes its effect at a gathering Kim throws for Skylark and Rapoport. Then there’s a bunch of chaos with the poisoned guard vomiting to death and a different guard getting his head blown off, so that the blood splatters on a bunch of cute little kids who were there to play guitar.

9. A North Korean Official Has Sex With a White American
Little-known fact: North Korea is extremely racist! B.R. Myers, an American-born academic and expert on all things North Korea, wrote a terrific book a few years ago called The Cleanest Race, in which he analyzed the Hermit kingdom's propaganda. A key component of North Korean ideology, as it turns out, is racial purity, and South Korea is derided as unclean because it's filled with Koreans who copulate with Americans and other unsavory non-Koreans. So the Kim regime would no doubt be aghast at the Seth Rogen character's steamy romance with a tough-as-nails North Korean official. Their sex scene is super-gross to watch, even for American eyes (what with it featuring a groaning Seth Rogen pounding away while his lover sits on a tabletop), but it would be stomach-churning for a North Korean.

8. You See Kim Jong-un’s Butt
More accurately, you see the butt of the actor playing him, Randall Park. But still. Butt still.

7. Fake Supermarket
Skylark’s faith in Kim as a potentially good guy hinges on a supermarket he sees in town with a fat kid in front of it. To him, it is proof that North Korea isn't as bad as the U.S. government said. Later, it's revealed that the grocery store is a fraud — the interior just a picture and the fruit, faked. Beyond the implication that North Koreans are starving, it also furthers the idea that Kim Jong-un puts great effort into only appearing to be a good leader.

6. A Party With North Korean Sex Slaves
At the height of the bromance between Skylark and Kim Jong-un, the latter announces that he's gonna get the two of them some "puuuuuussssyyyyyyyy." Immediately, a door swings open and a bunch of high-heeled Korean hotties step through. Cut to a montage of wild party-having. In real life, Kim is married and allegedly has a kid. And if he has enslaved prostitutes, he probably wouldn't want anyone drawing attention to them.

5. Kim Jong-un As a "Honeydick"
One of the movie's recurring gags is the idea of a "honeydick," which is the male equivalent of a "honeypot" — a term used to refer to women in Spycraft who seduce men in order to get information or otherwise manipulate them. There's a lot of homoerotic tension between Dave Skylark and Kim Jong-un, and during the climax, Kim tells a lackey that he had been "honeydicking" Dave the whole time. Not a great look for IRL Kim.

4. The Titular Interview, Itself
In the movie's third act, Skylark finally conducts his interview with Kim Jong-un and, after some softball questions, he verbally attacks the dictator for starving his people and throwing them into prison camps. Needless to say, the Kim regime doesn't take too kindly to such accusations in any context, fictional or otherwise.

3. North Koreans Are Ready for Change
The third act of the movie hinges on a change of plan, in which the heroes' aim is not to kill Kim, but to humiliate him on live television. One of his lackeys has secretly turned on him, and she believes there are lots of people within the regime who would love to see Kim deposed and replaced with a moderate leader. Sure enough, after Kim is laid low on TV and subsequently blown up, the country holds democratic elections and the aforementioned treasonous lackey is elected as North Korea's new leader. The implication that North Koreans — especially high-ranking officers — would be pro-democracy and anti-Kim is implausible in its own right, much less from the lens of the regime itself. 

2. Kim Cries and Sharts
Once Skylark’s plan to use his interview to reveal how Kim is not as powerful and perfect as he portrays himself to be kind of backfires, he starts asking Jong-un about his dad and singing Katy Perry’s “Firework,” which previously was established as a song with great meaning to Kim. Kim cries like a baby. If that’s not bad enough, he sharts. Kim Jong-un sharts in this movie.

1. Kim Is Blown Up
In slow motion. It looked like this. According to emails leaked during the Sony hack, the scene's graphicness was debated. Maybe it was not as bad as it once was, but either way Kim Jong-un’s head is blown up in slow motion.