How ‘Superbad’ Fame Almost Made Michael Cera Quit Acting at 19
During an interview with The Guardian, Cera opened up about how becoming a household name at 19 had been “overwhelming” at the time.
“I didn’t know how to handle walking down the street,” the actor said. “Fame makes you very uncomfortable in your own skin, and makes you paranoid and weird. There were lots of great things about it, and I met a lot of amazing people, but there’s a lot of bad energies, too, ones that I was not equipped to handle.”
Cera noted that “drunk people” were a “classic example” of this type of negative exposure. “You know, if people are drunk, and they recognise you, and they’re very enthusiastic, but it can be kind of toxic too,” said Cera. “When you’re a kid, people also feel they can kind of grab you — they’re not that respectful of you or your physical space.” He said that at 19, “I didn’t know how to respectfully establish my own boundaries,” and that an outing to a bar after Superbad came out “was a mistake. It was like a burning feeling the whole time, just like everybody was so aware of me.”
“There was a point where I wanted to stop taking jobs that would make me more famous,” he continued, adding, “I was kind of having a bit of a crisis. I was really not enjoying the level of heat. I really didn’t know if I was going to keep being an actor.” Cera also revealed that he even turned down an opportunity to host Saturday Night Live. (He did, however, host a DIY version of Saturday Night Live at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in New York City during the last writers’ strike in 2007.)
Cera, now 35, reflected on how his early fame helped him realize what he did and didn’t want out of acting. “I think I wanted to be a working actor who can enjoy my day-to-day life, and the world that I’ve created for myself,” he said. “I think that was the overall thing I was trying to figure out.”
The actor will reprise the titular role in Scott Pilgrim the Anime, a follow-up series to the cult hit that will drop on Netflix in the fall. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Cera also shared how he almost tied the knot with his co-star Aubrey Plaza during a spontaneous trip through Vegas.