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INT: Michael Cera


Interview Michael Cera is pretty much exactly what you'd expect interviewing Michael Cera to be like. He doesn't swagger out with a gravelly voice like Kirk Douglas or something. He's basically the same guy you see in the movies. Looks of ums, uhs, yeahs, I guesses and nervous laughter.

The dude just spent the freezing Louisiana morning being whipped and throw into mud while wearing an outfit even skimpier than the one I'm wearing. He seems a little stand-offish but not in a dickish way, just more that he's kinda shy and hasn't gotten used to all the press and attention yet. Later I see him hanging with Jack Black, Harold Ramis and Christopher Mintz-Plasse and he seems like a completely different guy. Loose, relaxed and talkative. But that doesn't mean we didn't get anything out of the guy. Read on to see what he had to say about YEAR ONE and working with one of his idols, director Harold Ramis.

Michael Cera

Can you tell us about the scene about the scene you were shooting?

Yeah, being raped as a slave. Earlier this morning we were standing in mud. It was freezing. It was insanely cold, but it’s fun. It’s a good time.

Yeah, probably should have gone to law school.

Yeah, it’s been O.K. Today hasn’t been the worst, not the most difficult day. I had to be painted gold (I just ruined it). I just ruined the end of the movie. It’s insane, my whole body is painted gold. It was really uncomfortable and miserable and washing it off is just awful.

Hard for your skin to breathe?

Yeah, for a few days after that my skin was really just in pain. Especially under my armpits because I guess they hey put this gold powder on which is kind of this metal base. So, it was really sharp. Wiping it off was like sandpaper. It was just crazy. And then like your armpits all day are sort of like this (holding up his arm). And the were on fire for like a week after. I couldn’t lift my arm higher than this or it was excruciating.

Why are you painted in gold?

Kyle Glass paints me gold in the movie. He plays an Eunuch in the movie paints me gold to be a gold statue.

I heard you use compulsory to the slave driver in the scene…

Yeah, think it pre-dates that word? There have been a lot of discussions about words that pre-date like ‘totally’ or accidentally saying ‘dodged a bullet there.’

And bullets aren’t even invented.

And Jack said like, ‘Sue me!’ (Laughs.)

Usually do discussions move forward with you saying it anyway?

No, no, Carol comes over and says ‘You can’t say that.’ Like, I said ‘textbook’ one time. Like, ‘Oh, it was a textbook suicide.’ And textbooks aren’t invented yet. You can’t say textbook.

Is that creating limitations on how you improvise?

Kind of. You just don’t think about those things. I think it’s gotten less and less, but it really wouldn’t have occurred to me unless someone had said, ‘It doesn’t make sense for you not to say that.’

Compare Jack’s style to say Jonah Hill’s. How are they similar or different?

Um, I dunno. I mean. Different approaches I guess. I think Jack really studies the script and really knows it. If a new scene comes up every day, I think he really just knows it. I think he’s spent time with the script whereas Jonah plans on kind of working on his feet, his toes. I think that’s kind of a major difference.


They are both funny. Um. Nice, fun guys to hang out with.

So are you the guy who always gets the bad end of it in the movie?

Yeah. Get whipped. I guess so. It’s not too far off.

What kind of research did you do for this? Did you crack open the bible or?

No, no, I was just more afraid of it not being funny. Harold, there are a lot of people thinking about that stuff.

Do you like dressing up with a wig and crazy hair?

Yeah, it’s fun. This isn’t my main wig. In the second have of the movie they cut my hair, but I normally have a long wig and it was custom made and looks just like my hairline. It’s really insane. It’s weird when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and forget you’re wearing it.

What’s been your favorite scene so far?

Uh, I dunno. Any of the scenes where Jack has a big speech are always kind of fun. I can just stand there and watch him go. He’s really great with those great, epic speeches. There are a lot of those in the movie that he makes.

Is there a lot of physical humor I the movie?

Kind of. Would you call body paint physical humor? There’s not too much falling down. There is a cougar that attacks us. Jack falls down a few times. I fall down a cliff. So, yeah, it’s all funny I guess.

We heard the cougar went through the torture scene?

Torture scene? Which one is that? Oh, yeah. I’m upside down in the scene. Right. Yeah, that was physical.

How many hours were you upside down for?

Well, y’know, it would only be for a minute at a time. They would take me down in-between each take, but all day I would be upside down. And then at the end I pee, so I had apple juice running down my face. Yeah, it kept getting in my noise. And then in my eyes. Like, the second they said, ‘What do you want the fake pee to be?’ And I said apple juice – it stings your eyes. I should have gone with just water. No, they just said, ‘What do you want the fake pee to be? We’ll use apple juice.’ ‘O.K.’ I guess normally they don’t have it go in people’s eyes.

What was your first reaction when you saw all this built out here?

It was insane. It’s amazing. We shot the first few weeks in a different location while this was still being built and then this is mind blowing. I have never worked on anything so elaborate or big or massive.

With the success you’ve had, does that effect how your work at all? Is that on your mind? To maintain it?

I don’t think so.

What’s been your favorite scene to do with David Cross?

There is a scene were David, he plays Cain and he kills Abel and that was really funny.

What was your role in that scene?

I just kind of stand there while me and Jack are kind of in the middle of it while it happens. It’s a funny scene.

Which of the guys in this movie would you consider to be your heroes growing up? Your comedy heroes?

Well, “Ghostbusters” is kind of the reason I wanted to be an actor. When I was four I really liked “Ghostbusters” and wanted to act from a young age because of that. So, it’s great working with David Cross who also loves “Ghostbusters.” Um, it was really amazing getting to listen to Harold all day.

Do you harass him about stories about the movie?

He’s really great about telling stories and he just volunteers stuff and is just great. He told me one today because we were in this freezing mud and he told me this scene that he had to do for “Ghostbusters II.” He told me it was the worst night of his life. They were freezing, it was really cold in New York and they had to have slime on them and it was like, freezing. Miserably cold. So, that was really cool.

You have to give us the dirt on Christopher Mintz-Plasse. How has he changed since the ‘Superbad” thing has taken off?

I think his life has changed. He probably gets stuff yelled at him. In a good way, not in a malicious way, I think. It’s got to be strange. Like his face is on shirts and stuff. I remember when we were doing the press tour around the country before the movie even came out there were people showing up with McLovin’ shirts. Which was crazy, the movie was going to be released in two months. Even in two months people has Mc’Lovin shirts.

Will you ever do drama or do you just want to focus on comedy?

I don't know. [laughs] I mean, that's what's kind of come along, and I enjoy doing it. It’ fun.

They had you pushing “Superbad” for a really long time and you were working hard on that. How long did it take you to decompress?

Well that was a lot of fun, doing that. You know, I mean was with friends, going all over the world. I didn't need to, like, relax after that. [laughs] I mean it's like a vacation; everything is free, there's free food in the hotel, and you do like a few hours of work a day and then hang out, and... it's not that bad! [laughs]

How are you around the animals? Are you the type of person who wants to jump on or do you want to run away?

No, I wouldn’t say. Is there a type of person who sees a camel and wants to jump on it? No, it’s fine. It’s kind of cool. There are always animals. Always boars and camels and there was a cougar which was really crazy.

Do you get to ride a horse or camel or...?

No. Not unless they add something. I think I heard Harold talking about adding a Camel.

We heard there might be some romantic scenes with Oliver Platt? Shot those yet?

Yeah, right. Um, a few of them. Not the major ones. Actually, maybe we have done a lot of it. He’s really funny.

How is he as a lover, Oliver Platt?

He’s really funny in the movie. Really funny.




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1:51PM on 05/14/2009
fuck this kid.
fuck this kid.
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