Michael Cera has quietly been cracking up audiences for years, first as the awkward, cousin-loving George Michael Bluth on TV's 'Arrested Development'; then as an awkward horndog in 'Superbad'; and finally as the -- you guessed it -- awkward baby-daddy to Ellen Page's bastard spawn in 'Juno.'
With 'Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist,' a 'Before Sunrise'-esque tale of two (awkward) teenaged lost souls who come together during one night of indie-rock-infused adventure in Manhattan, he takes his first true stab at leading man-dom. Moviefone chatted with Cera about his ideal mix tape, the possibility of a 'Pineapple Express'-'Superbad' hybrid and whether those pesky 'Arrested Development' movie rumors will ever prove true (fingers crossed). -- By Tom DiChiara
1. How'd you get interested in 'Nick & Norah'?
Well, I liked Pete [Sollet, the director] a lot. Willy, my manager, sent me his movie 'Raising Victor Vargas,' and I really loved it. It's a fantastic movie. For anyone who hasn't seen it, it's worth seeing. He's a great director, and I wanted to work with him. I liked the script, and I knew he would do it properly.
2. If you were to make a mix tape for a girl, what would you put on it?
'Thriller' and -- let's see -- I'd put 'Do Right Woman' by Aretha Franklin, and that's it. Just those two songs. But I'd put them both about 10 times, alternating back and forth. I like to mystify people with my CDs. [Laughs.]
3. What was your favorite scene to do in 'Nick & Norah'?
I liked -- let's see -- I liked anything where we're in the van. That was fun. And I liked watching Ari [Graynor, who plays Caroline] and all those guys. I had never met any of those guys and I thought it was great of Pete to put that group together. Yeah, I really liked watching those guys. It was awesome.
4. What are some of your favorite comedies of all time?
I like 'Ghostbusters,' 'O Lucky Man!' ... and 'Yojimbo' -- that's kind of a comedy; it's funny.
5. Have you seen that mock 'Juneau' poster? How do you feel about having John McCain's face over your body?
Somebody showed me that yesterday. I guess it was kind of funny. [Laughs.]
6. James Franco recently said he was interested in doing a 'Pineapple Express' meets 'Superbad' crossover movie. What have you heard about that, and would you be onboard?
I'd have to read the script. I know that Evan Goldberg was talking about that jokingly. I don't think he ever meant it, though. But I think his -- [laughs] well, I don't want to give it away. I don't want to say his idea. Yeah, it could be funny. Seth [Rogen] would be playing two parts? [Laughs.]
7. You were recently named to Moviefone's 25 Biggest Stars Under 25 list. How does it feel to receive such a prestigious honor?
It's good ... I'm 32, though [laughs].
8. Ellen Page and Kat Dennings made the list as well. What are your best memories of working with them?
I just remember eating food together. Me and Ellen went for dinner a lot. We were working in Vancouver, and we found some restaurants we liked. With Kat, I just had fun hanging out on set. With all these guys, when we weren't filming we'd hang out in my trailer. It was fun -- a really good group of people. Everyone balanced each other out very nicely.
9. Ellen Page has said that you're a talented guitar player. Any musical aspirations?
I'm not that good. I've never taken lessons, and I don't feel competent. I can learn songs, but it's like learning to say a phrase in French and say it with a perfect accent but I still can't speak French [laughs].