Michael Cera

19-year-old actor building a 'Super' resume

It’s not as if Michael Cera can’t lie — in character, at least. For three seasons on Fox’s “Arrested Development,” he concealed his more-than-familial fondness for his first cousin Maeby.

But as an actor, the 19-year-old Cera is as guileless as they come, a key reason his profile is rising.

“The guy’s incapable of having a false moment,” says Jason Reitman, director of “Juno,” in which Cera plays a teen father-to-be.

Cera almost seems too unassuming to break out big, but talent is triumphing over modesty.

“Michael is singular,” says “Superbad” director Greg Mottola. “His rhythms, his sense of humor are unlike anyone I’ve known. There’s an enormous sweetness to Michael, but it’s counterbalanced by terror and revulsion. So there’s tension to his performance, which is always more interesting.”

In “Juno,” Cera brings that vulnerability to a surprise pregnancy. Reitman believes one underappreciated aspect of Cera’s ability is that unlike other actors whose ad libs go three times as long as the original line, Cera’s unscripted moments often make the lines shorter and the script tighter.

“It’s as much about pauses and strange emphasis on certain words as it is about changing the lines,” Mottola adds.

Cera’s “Clark and Michael” Internet comedy series, which he co-created with friend Clark Duke, not only shows Cera can play egocentric, it also hints at ambitions beyond acting for Cera. (“Mike is too smart to waste the rest of his life working for people like me,” Mottola says.)

In the meantime, Reitman wonders if he’ll ever see Cera’s darker side. “What I’d give to see Michael Cera actually upset at someone,” he jokes.

Says Mottola: “I predict that the Michael Cera tabloid story will be that he is missing in Canada, that he’s gone ‘Into the Wild’ — but in Mike’s case it will mean he went camping and forgot to tell his manager.”

Recent breakthrough: Co-starring role in hit “Superbad,” which passed $100 million in domestic gross in September.

What’s next: Toronto favorite “Juno” arrives in December, after which Cera will appear in “Youth in Revolt” for Dimension.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety