Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse Interview – SUPERBAD

     August 14, 2007





By now you know my love for “Superbad.” You know I think it’s one of the best films of the summer and might end up being one of the funniest films of the year.


The film was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg when they were 13. Obviously the script has gone through changes and jokes have been altered…but the original characters are still the same. Seth and Evan. And yes, they are based on themselves.



If you need to know more, you can watch the movie clips I’ve already posted, read a story on the Comic-Con screening and Q & A, you can even watch a video interview I did with Evan Goldberg on this film and his other projects with Seth.



But those things are not the reason you’re here, as if you clicked on this story, you want to read or listen to the roundtable interview that I participated in with Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, soon to be known the world over as McLovin!



Seriously, McLovin t-shirts are going to be the rage in about a month.



Anyway, here’s the interview with these two and we discuss everything under the sun – from the movie to what they have coming up.



And since I might not have time to transcribe the other interviews I did for “Superbad,” I wanted to at least offer them as MP3s. So just click on the names if you’d like to hear the interviews -Judd Apatow, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, and the last one is with the director Greg Mottola.



I cannot say loud enough how you have to see the film this weekend. And now, Michael and McLovin.





DID YOU KNOW THAT SONG THAT YOU DANCED TO?



CERA: Yeah. I’d heard it.



ARE THERE ALTERNATE VERSIONS?



CERA: Yeah. There’s one where I’m singing ‘The Thong Song.’



QUESTION: MICHAEL, DID YOU AND JONAH HANG OUT BEFORE THE FILM? HOW DID THAT HAPPEN AND WHAT DID YOU GUYS DO TOGETHER? DID YOU GUYS BECOME FRIENDS?



CERA: Yeah. We drove around together a lot, talked about the movie; talked about other movies; and ate food; played video games. We all rehearsed together. We went to CPK and I got the barbecue chicken chops. Then we did a shot of wheat grass at Jamba Juice. That’s the first time either us had ever tried it. Didn’t feel any better. Also, we rehearsed in Greg’s office a lot,



M-P: They taped that. I want to see it.



CERA: Maybe it’ll be on the DVD. That was it. Yeah. We’re pretty comfortable with each other, by the time it came to, time to film on tape.



QUESTION: CHRIS, I HEARD THAT YOU SHOWED UP JONAH AT THE CASTING SESSION.



CERA: That’ll be in the DVD hopefully.



M-P: I didn’t know until maybe two weeks ago that after my audition Jonah was like, I don’t want that guy.



CERA: Literally, right when you left the room everyone was laughing at Chris, and Jonah was like, no. And we were like no, seriously. That’s why it’s funny. Actually that day, we went and watched the tape. After we had auditioned, we went to Seth’s house and we all sat around and watched the tape and Jonah already saw it. He was hardly amused though.



QUESTION: CHRIS, ARE YOU READY FOR THE WOMEN WHO’LL WANT TO SLEEP WITH MCLOVIN?



M-P: Bring it. Bring it on.



Cera: He’s not unprepared.



M-P: I’m not the only person that’s going to get the lady action. The Comic Con girls were after Cera.



Cera: But it was Comic-Con.



QUESTION: CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE OF GOING TO COMICON AND WALKING AROUND?



CERA: Yeah. I met Ernie Hudson and got a signed headshot.



QUESTION: HOW MUCH DID YOU PAY YOU FOR IT?



CERA: 20 bucks, and I lost it too. But I have it on tape. I have it on tape, me talking to him and getting a signed headshot. He’s really friendly. He looks like he hasn’t aged at all. Yeah. He hasn’t aged a day. He looks great. He’s in a booth.



QUESTION: WAS IT A GHOSTBUSTERS HEADSHOT?



CERA: Yeah, as Winston.



QUESTION: WHAT DID HE WRITE ON IT?



CERA: “Michael, who are you going to call?” It was real cool, and I lost it. I met Harold Ramis too. I met Harold Ramis and for some reason Ernie Hudson– Maybe because he looks exactly how we did doing the Movie, Harold Ramis looks like a completely different person. I was like really nervous for some reason around him. It couldn’t even talk. It took so much for me to go up to him and ask him to sign a head shot.



QUESTION: ERNIE?



CERA: Yeah.



QUESTION: DID HE RECOGNIZE YOU? KNOW YOU ARE?



CERA: No. We talked for a while.



QUESTION: YOU’VE BEEN DOING A WEB SHOW CALLED ‘CLARK AND MICHAEL’? CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE ABOUT THAT?



CERA: Oh, just talk about it?



QUESTION: I WANTED TO KNOW WHAT THE REACTION HAS BEEN SINCE IT’S BEEN COMPLETED. WILL THERE BE ANOTHER ONE?



CERA: I’m not sure. I have no idea what they’re watching. I don’t know how many people are watching it or what people think of it. The only thing I can go by are their comments on the actual page, which is kind of cool. You know? What was the second part?



QUESTION: DO YOU THINK THERE MIGHT BE ANOTHER ONE?



CERA: I don’t know. I don’t think we’re going to do anymore.



M-P: Clark seems to Hollywood now.



CERA: Yeah. And Clark‘s doing the TV show now too. He’s doing a series called ‘Greek’ that he’s in contract with. They probably wouldn’t let him make anymore if he wanted to.



QUESTION: CAN YOU TALK A BIT MORE ABOUT CLARK‘S CAMEO?



CERA: Yeah. Clark had a cameo in ‘Superbad.’



M-P: No, it wasn’t a cameo. He kind of hung out on set because he’s good friends with Mike we just put him in the movie.



CERA: He auditioned a bunch of times for Fogell actually. And they wanted him in the party scene.



M-P: Really? Cool.



QUESTION: MICHAEL, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE DANCING?



CERA: In the beginning? Yeah. We recorded me dancing for an hour straight. It was Evan’s idea. For the DVD menu, he wanted the DVD menu to be– I think they can do that. If it’s like a Blue Ray disk, they can have menus that long. It would be an hour of me dancing without looping. So the people would be like, ‘Oh, how long does this go on for?’ They would wait for it to loop and it never would. It’s actually a great idea. So I danced for an entire tape, which is like 53 minutes. And it’s just a menu in front of a green screen. Then someone made, I think it was an Editor’s Assistant made that intro of me dancing with like a silhouette. It was the intro of the movie. It was exactly like that. They made the actual. They hadn’t changed it at all. Then they recorded Jonah dancing because they liked it and decided to use it at the beginning of the movie, which I love. I think it’s really good. So they recorded Jonah dancing and then put it in. It was only done for the DVD menu. It was like at midnight one night. Evan felt really bad about making the cameraman stay just to watch me dance. I felt like an idiot too.



QUESTION: DID YOU TAKE ANY DANCING LESSONS?



CERA: No, no. Not really.



QUESTION: WHAT ARE YOU DANCING TO?



CERA: They were playing music. They were playing the Unicorns over the loudspeaker, just so that…



QUESTION: PLAYING THE WHAT?



CERA: The Unicorns. It’s a band. It wasn’t any kind of…



QUESTION: It was all improvised?



CERA: Yeah. Evan was like shouting things out at me to do. ‘Pretend you’re using a lawn mower.’



QUESTION: JONAH WAS SAYING THAT HE DID NOT TRY TO BE IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM TO CHANNEL SETH. THE FACT THAT YOU WERE SPENDING A LOT OF TIME WITH EVAN, YOU SAW HIM. THERE WERE SOME QUIRKS AND SOME MOVEMENTS THERE THAT LOOKED SOMEWHAT SIMILAR TO THE THINGS EVAN DOES.



CERA: Yeah. Maybe that just came from me hanging around those guys and accidentally becoming like them. It wasn’t like based on him. It didn’t matter. Nobody would care. Because nobody knows those guys in real life, knows what they like. Most people who are watching the movie don’t. It was more about seeming real instead of seeming like a bad impression of, seeming like just a person that actually exists. I don’t think that was ever their intention was to have the characters sound like them or be like them.



QUESTION: BUT THERE MIGHT BE SOME QUALITIES, AS YOU SAY, JUST HAPPENED FROM SPENDING A LOT OF TIME WITH SOMEBODY AND IT BECOMES, SUPPOSEDLY, SOMETHING THAT HE WROTE ABOUT HIMSELF.



CERA: Yeah. If anything, I think the dynamic between the two, the way they talk to each other. That’s probably the closest thing to real life like them. Otherwise it was more. They were more concerned with how it actually looks. How would you say this in real life.



QUESTION: WHO DID YOU RESEMBLE MORE AT SCHOOL, EVAN OR SETH?



CERA: Probably Evan. I was not too bitter about school.



M-P: I was like Seth. I had a dirty mouth in high school.



QUESTION: THIS WAS YOUR FIRST FILM.



M-P: Yeah.



QUESTION: CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT MIGHT BE COMING UP FOR YOU GUYS? ARE YOU GOING TO CONTINUE ACTING?



M-P: In January, I’m working on a movie with Harold Ramis. I think he’s directing. Jack Black is in it.



QUESTION: ARE YOU GUYS BOTH 18?



CERA: I’m 19. He’s 18.



QUESTION: HOW MANY AUDITIONS HAD YOU GONE OUT FOR BEFORE YOU GOT THIS?



M-P: This was my first audition. I’d been doing drama in school since I was eight. I was on an improv comedy team at my high school, so that helped.



QUESTION: DID YOU GUYS EVER DO ANY METHOD ACTING WITH THE ALCOHOL?



CERA: No. I think it was all apple juice or water.



M-P: Or non-alcoholic beer.



QUESTION: OF ALL THE ACTORS IN THIS FILM, YOU PROBABLY HAVE THE MOST HIGH PROFILE BECAUSE OF ‘ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.’ IS THERE ANY SENSE THAT YOU HAD TO MAKE THAT A DIFFERENT PERFORMANCE, TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING DIFFERENT, THAN PERHAPS PEOPLE EXPECT FROM YOU, FROM GEORGE-MICHAEL?



CERA: I didn’t really think about that. I think there’s a difference. It’s a lot more vulgar. I really hope that the people that liked ‘Arrested Development’ will like this. That would be great.



M-P: They definitely will. (laughs)



QUESTION: DO YOU WANT TO DO THE WRITING AND PRODUCING THING AS WELL AS ACTING LIKE YOU DID WITH ‘CLARK AND MICHAEL’?



CERA: I’d like to, yeah. That was a really easy show to direct. We both knew it really well and we were playing ourselves. We had written it, so nobody could tell us that we weren’t doing the characters properly. Also we did it like a fake reality show, so to direct it was really easy, because we could see booms and stuff and we could look in the camera. Yeah. I like to do that. I just want to make sure I’m competent in doing it before I ever actually do it, so it’s not awful.



QUESTION: HOW’S YOU’RE WRITING?



CERA: Yeah. I’ve written some things. I’m always kind of writing.



QUESTION: SO HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED DOING THAT?



CERA: When I wrote it, I was, I think, 17 and Clark was about 20. Yeah.



QUESTION: SIMILAR IN A WAY, TO THESE GUYS, WHO WERE TEENAGERS WHEN THEY WROTE SUPERBAD.



CERA: Sort of, yeah. We wrote it long before we ever actually made or had any aspirations to make it. We just kind of wrote it to make each other laugh, and for something to do.



QUESTION: I SAW YOU AT COMIC-CON WITH A VIDEO CAMERA. HOW MUCH FOOTAGE DID YOU SHOOT AND WAS THAT JUST FOR PERSONAL REASONS?



CERA: Yeah. It was for personal things. Yeah. I just thought it would be fun, because we’re going to be on the road for a while, to tape it.



QUESTION: WHERE ARE YOU GUYS GOING IN EUROPE?



CERA: All over. Australia. Oh, right. Australia‘s in Australia. We’re going to Australia as well. We’re going to like London. Spain, somewhere in Spain. Eventually we’re going to Rome and Paris, and Madrid and maybe somewhere else.



M-P: Wherever Sony tells us to go, we’ll go.



CERA: All I know is what time I have to wake up in the morning.



QUESTION: IS THIS JUST THE TWO OF YOU?



CERA: Jonah, and– Anyone else?



M-P: My friend’s coming with us.



CERA: I think other people from the cast.



QUESTION: WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON MCLOVIN?



M-P: He’s kind of a nerdy character. He thinks he’s a lot cooler than he is. He has a confidence about himself that you see in the movie. Later on, when he gets taken away by the cops, he thinks he’s more badass. It’s like McLovin unleashed, and he becomes cooler as the movie goes on.



QUESTION: YOU DID GO TO A FIRING RANGE, RIGHT?



M-P: We went to the gun range and got to shoot shotguns and machine guns.



CERA: Tommy guns.



M-P: The shotgun pushed me back because I’m a small guy.



CERA: Hopefully that will be on the DVD.



QUESTION: HAVE YOU GOTTEN ANY OF THAT FAN ATTENTION YET?



M-P: I think so.



CERA: People show up to the screenings for a t-shirts with his face on it. It’s true.



QUESTION: CAN YOU GUYS TALK ABOUT DOING SOME OF THIS? THEY’VE SCREENED THIS MOVIE A TON?



CERA: Yeah.



QUESTION: CAN YOU TALK ABOUT GOING TO SOME OF THESE SCREENINGS AND SEEING THE FANS REACTION TO IT?



CERA: Yeah. It’s doing really good. We went to a bunch of screenings in different cities in the past two weeks.



M-P: We’ve seen it about seven times, I think. Every time we’ve walked down for the Q&A, we’ve gotten a standing ovation.



CERA: It’s always been good, people staying to ask questions and stuff. It’s been really positive so far.




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QUESTION: ANYONE ASKED YOU TO SIGN A BODY PART?


M-P: A woman asked me to sign her breast. I felt weird. I said, I’m not signing your boob with your fiancé behind you.



CERA: So what did you sign?



M-P: Her ticket.



QUESTION: DO YOU HAVE A FAKE ID?



M-P: No way. I could never pull that off. I look like I’m 15.



QUESTION: MICHAEL, THE FILM YOU’LL BE DOING IN JANUARY, I BELIEVE, IS ‘YEAR ONE’?



CERA Yeah.



QUESTION: I’M NOT REALLY SURE WHAT THE PLOT OF THE MOVIE IS.



CERA: It’s kind of like ‘The Life of Brian’ but not similar tonally. It takes place kind of in year one.



QUESTION: CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER AT ALL?



CERA: I play Jack Black’s best friend. He kind of goes on this journey to find an answer to life and I follow him.



M-P: Has it been cast yet?



CERA: I don’t know. I don’t know if anyone else is cast. The table read had a lot of great people. If they used everyone from the table, it would be real awesome – David Cross, Jonah and Paul Rudd–a lot of funny people. Stanley Tucci. He’s funny.



QUESTION: WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU BEING IN THIS MOVIE?



M-P: Most of my friends have seen it and there will be a screening in a week or two. I got 30 of my friends in for free. They’ll see it soon enough.



QUESTION: ARE THEY ACTORS TOO?



M-P: They were in my drama class in high school.



QUESTION: ARE THEY AND YOU GOING TO COLLEGE?



M-P: They are. When I get back from Europe I’m going to go to junior college because I missed a couple of classes that I need to retake. But I’m going to try and get another acting job.



QUESTION: WERE YOU CONFIDENT YOU’D NAILED THE AUDITION FOR SUPERBAD?



M-P: No. They didn’t call me back for two weeks so I didn’t think I got it at all. Because I was 17, there were legal issues. When they finally called me I was excited.



QUESTION: HOW CLOSE DID YOU GUYS STICK TO THE SCRIPT?



CERA: Well, we would do a bunch of takes. Then you’re kind of encouraged to say whatever you wanted.



M-P: The script was hilarious.



CERA: Yeah. The table-read that we did, where we were just reading off the page with no improvising at all got a lot of laughs. It was funny just reading it. It wasn’t a necessity to improvise.



M-P: But it added.



CERA: Yeah. It kind of keeps it fresh.



QUESTION: DID JUDD APATOW COME ON THE SET A LOT?



CERA: He was on the set once in a while, not too much though. He kind of would depend on the people he hires people that he really trusts and then discusses it al lot, like a night beforehand and goes over everything and makes sure we’re all on the same level, and then he just kind of leaves each of us to our own devices. And Sony, they weren’t like interjecting too much. I haven’t done any movies like this. But the way everyone else is talking, it seems pretty rare.



QUESTION: HOW DID YOU BECOME A PART OF THAT APATOW EMPIRE OR WHATEVER, AND HAVE YOU BEEN A FAN FOR A WHILE?



M-P: I’m so happy about it. When I auditioned for the movie I had no idea it was an Apatow movie. When I realized it, I was so happy that I got in with this group of people.



CERA: Yeah. I loved his show. I’ve had the DVD for years. I loved “Freaks & Geeks” and “Undeclared.”



M-P: “Anchorman” was one of my favorite comedies when it came out. Everything he does is genius, really.



CERA: They hire people, they cast people that they trust and believe in and just kind of let them figure it out on their own. It’s pretty rare.



QUESTION: MICHAEL, DO YOU EVER THINK BACK ON ‘ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT’?


DO YOU EVER REMINISCE ON THE SHOW? WHAT ARE YOUR MEMORIES OF IT?



CERA: Yeah. It was filmed here, on this lot, the first year. It was strange coming back. Yeah. I just remember it being a lot of fun. I remember getting most of schooling experience on it, admiring everyone on it and trying to listen to everything that Will Arnett and David Cross and Jeffrey Tambor would say, and memorize it. Kind of soak in everything. Being really excited making the show and feeling really good about it. Yeah. It was nice.



QUESTION: WERE YOU SURPRISED HOW LONG IT CARRIED ON?



CERA: Yeah. I was. Yeah. I was definitely surprised. I was surprised that we got a back 9 in the first season. Everyone was. That was a big surprise, because it was really apparent that the ratings weren’t going to up and a lot of people would be watching the show. I think that’s apparent actually when they put us after ‘American Idol’ one night, which they did with a lot of shows, it would give them a good chance, by putting them after ‘American Idol’ and see how much of that audience we can retain. I remember, it was like the numbers were the same as they ever were. No one was going to watch it. I was just surprised when they kept picking it up. It was a good show. It went 3 years. I think that’s a good amount of time. Any longer, it might have fizzled out. I don’t mind it ending early. I didn’t mind that.



QUESTION: AS YOUR CAREER GETS BIGGER IF A POSSIBILITY OF A MOVIE CAME AROUND WOULD YOU STILL BE INTERESTED?



CERA: Yeah. If it was everyone involved. It would be great.



QUESTION: WHAT WOULD IT TAKE OR YOU TO GO BACK TO IT?



CERA: A really good script, I guess. That’d be it. That’s all you can really ask for.



QUESTION: I’M JUST CURIOUS. WHAT DO YOU GUYS WATCH IN THE SUMMER?


WHAT’S YOUR THING?



CERA: I’m really waiting for ‘The Darjeeling Limited’ and ‘There Will Be Blood.’ Those are coming out around the same time.



M-P: ‘Walk Hard’ ‘The Ten.”



CERA: And David Wayne has like an internet show that he’s doing. He’s really awesome. The next Tim Burton movie.



M-P: Sweeney Todd. That’ll be awesome.



CERA: ‘American Gangster.’



QUESTION: WHEN YOU WERE AT COMIC-CON, DID YOU WALK THE CONVENTION FLOOR AT ALL?



CERA: Yeah. I bought Ernie Hudson’s autograph and a Ghostbuster t-shirt. We had a Big Lebowski bobble head that we bought for Jonah because he was napping. We lost the bag, though. Someone’s going to hit the motherlode.



QUESTION: I WAS JUST WONDERING AS FAR AS YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE, HOW IS YOUR LIFE LIKE THESE CHARACTERS? ALCOHOL AND GIRLS?



CERA: I think that’s kind of the their way to take their mind off the fact that they’re separating in the movie. I remember it wasn’t hard to get alcohol. You can ask someone’s older brother. The way that Seth talks about girls in the movie and he seems so well versed in them, but he obviously knows nothing about them. That all to me just seems like a big front, to hide what’s really going on with him.



QUESTION: JUST IN YOUR OWN INNER CIRCLE, OR JUST HAVING FRIENDS YOUR AGE AND STUFF, DO THEY PARTY LIKE THIS?



CERA: Most of my friends in high school had girlfriends that they were dating for a year. I was the only one without one. Well, it’s not that bad. But yeah, I don’t remember them talking about girls or needing to get alcohol that much.



QUESTION: DO YOU SEE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE ‘ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT’


AND JUDD APATOW’S SENSE OF HUMOR THAT REALLY SUITS YOU?



CERA: Yeah. I think so. I think Freaks & Geeks was kind of a similar in feel as ‘Arrested’ maybe. It was all the character-based humor and they’re kind of been declared. I would say so.



QUESTION: DO YOU GUYS HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO WANTED TO COME AND VISIT YOU WHILE YOU’RE FILMING, KNOWING IT WAS A JUDD APATOW FILM?



M-P: I had friends visit me on set, not because of Judd, but because I was there. I had two friends that came by a lot.



CERA: Yeah. Martin Star, Nick Casanova.



QUESTION: WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?



M-P: The Valley. Woodland Hills. That area. It was a lot of work but everyone was so welcoming, that it was fun.



WHERE’D YOU SHOOT?



M-P: Northridge. It was an awesome first movie. I can be pickier on the next one. I don’t want to do something not awesome. I want to take my time time.



CERA: This one’s more collaborative than most movies. There’s no rush.



QUESTION: DO YOU THINK THIS WILL MAKE IT HARD TO GO OUT WITHOUT BEING RECOGNIZED?



CERA: It’s a different scale. I can always just stay home. Nobody really recognizes me at home.



QUESTION: HOW DID YOU FIND THE WHOLE WHITE 70’S LIKE OVERLAY IN THIS?



CERA: I loved it. I think that came from Greg too basically. He took the title “Superbad,” and came up with the soundtrack and everything, that whole funk thing. I think that all came from him. He watched a lot of old movies and stuff. I thought it was a great idea. I think it works really well.



QUESTION: FOR THE THIS GENERATION, THIS COULD VERY WELL BE THEIR FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH?



CERA: Like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Rushmore.



M-P: That’s what everyone’s been saying, I would love that. This could definitely be like a cult movie.



CERA: That would be great.



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