“Actually, it was one of the most pleasant days I’ve had in a long time. We got drunk and laughed and danced and got in a hot tub and ate pizza. It was sort of like my eighth birthday party,” says actor Michael Cera in Playboy’s August 20Q when recounting the “Guido makeover” he received from cast members of MTV’s Jersey Shore.
Cera—known for his part on the TV show Arrested Development and roles in hit movies such as Superbad, Juno, and Year One—has already become a Hollywood name at age 22. Typically playing the part of the loveable geek, Cera delivers his unique comedic style using sarcastic wit and classic one-liners. In advance of the August 13 premiere of his new movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the droll actor worked his trademark deadpan as he sat down and spoke with Playboy Contributor Eric Spitznagel about losing his virginity on the roof of a Public Storage, on-set shenanigans with Judd Apatow and Jonah Hill, and why he likes women that take charge.
Following are select quotes from the interview, all answered with Cera’s standard sarcasm:
On the worst pickup line he’s ever had the courage to say: “Hey, lady, those are some sexy-ass extensions. I guess you won’t mind if I extend to you a personal invitation to party with me one-on-one in a scary motel room.”
His tongue-in-cheek thoughts on ex-boyfriends, both real and fictitious: “Well, my current girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend is [actor] Danny Trejo, and he and I get along famously. Just last week the three of us played squash. It was me and Danny versus Tanya. We absolutely destroyed her. At one point after the crushing defeat, she very obviously had tears in her eyes. Danny and I shared a hearty and satisfying laugh over it.”
On losing his virginity: “To be honest I don’t remember too much about it. All I remember is I had been awake for almost 86 hours, I was on the roof of a Public Storage building in what seemed to be a freezing rainstorm, and Crispin Glover was there with a disposable camera he kept winding even though it had clearly run out of exposures. My memory of it has fogged as time has gone by, and I’ve pushed it out of my mind, though I do seem to remember something about a plastic Academy Award for best grandson being involved. You might say it was my first brush with the finer side of show business.”
On whether he prefers women who take charge: “Yes, but they’re hard to find. For example, when I go out to a restaurant I know every girl in there wants to come say hi and be sexually aggressive, but they’re all so gripped by shyness that they don’t even make a move. In some cases the shyness is so severe they won’t even look at me.”
His joking response to Judd Apatow and Jonah Hill joking that he’s “irritating” and “a fucking ass”: “The truth of the matter is I’m too classy to ever come out and speak any truth about those reprobates, and they’re both classless enough to knock on me and my problems. Between you and me—and I’ll thank you not to print this—those two used to come in to work and quite literally spit in the face of crew members. I once saw Jonah pinch the prop master. They’d pour salad dressing in the coffee and sometimes even grab people and kiss them hard on the mouth. To me this sort of behavior in a working environment is deplorable. Then I participate maybe once in a game of throwing shoes at the on-set medic, and all of a sudden I’m painted as the villain of the whole production. That’s the brilliance of Jonah and Judd.”
On whether his upcoming movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World only appeals to nerds: “I would say this movie is both a nerd and a nonnerd’s dream come true. For the nerds there are lots of Nintendo references and sound effects, and the nonnerds will enjoy making fun of all the nerds in the theater exploding with joy and afterward will possibly beat them all up.”
On co-star Anna Kendrick’s transition from working with George Clooney to him: “Natural transition is not the phrase I would use. Handsome transition seems to be a better phrase to encapsulate what that lucky girl has experienced. Unfortunately, Anna and I got to work together for only one day. Though she plays my sister in the movie, one of our biggest scenes together takes place over the phone, and we shot our respective sides of the conversation at completely different times on the shooting schedule. She regrets that we weren’t able to spend more time together. We got close enough for me to feel comfortable in assuming that.”
On whether he considers poking the Pillsbury Doughboy as a child his big acting break: “Well, in a way it was. Kids around school started asking if I had been in a commercial. They all seemed baffled by it. I enjoyed the recognition until the older kids started poking me in the stomach. Hard. With their fists.”
On whether he was an acting prodigy, or simply playing himself in his role on Arrested Development: “For sure an acting prodigy. Off set I used to joke with the crew guys about how we’d all beat up my character if he ever tried hanging out around us.”
On whether he is more inclined to take movie roles in which he plays a musician: “Yes. In fact I turned down the lead role in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps because that idiot Oliver Stone didn’t think the character should play the alto sax.”