Through his breakout roles in Arrested Development and Superbad, Michael Cera practically turned adolescent awkwardness into an art form. Now 22, the young Brampton, Ont., native is moving onto playing characters who are awkward arrested adolescents.
Not exactly a huge jump, but a jump nonetheless. His latest movie is Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, a wonderfully bizarre comic book adaptation about a struggling 20-something who must defeat his girlfriend’s seven evil exes through a series of elaborate fight sequences. At the very least, it’s not something you’ve seen before. “I can’t think of any other movie with this kind of tone,” Cera told Metro. “There’s a voice to the movie that’s all it’s own and I think that’s really important in comedy”
The film presented Cera with a new challenge. Though the actor had cut his teeth on dialogue-driven comedies, playing Scott Pilgrim required him to wield a sword and dabble in kung fu.
“The fight training was very extensive and I had to try so hard just to throw a punch at first,” laughed Cera. “It went on five days a week for like eight weeks and was basically like learning dance numbers. It was all beats and timing.”
All of that training clearly paid off because audiences will get to see the typically subdued Cera pull off some impressive fight sequences, from punching his way through a pack of skateboarders to battling Jason Schwartzman with a flaming sword. “They were all fun challenges to tackle and so diverse,” recalled the actor.
While the film offered new challenges for Cera, it also featured one comforting familiarity. Like many Hollywood productions it was shot in Toronto, but in a rare instance the movie was actually set in the city.
“It doesn’t remind me of anything. I’m not like, ‘Oh, that was like that other Toronto movie.’ This is really it’s own thing,” said Cera.