Firstly I apologise for the headline pun and secondly, dont you just hate it when people the same age as you are making about $10m per film? I do. But when it is Michael Cera, there's a willingness to accept it. A Canadian who has broken into the proverbial Hollywood comedy womb, Cera is improving, growing, evolving as a young comedic actor with every new role. The fresh faced thesp with a distinct geek-chic style continues surprise. With the highly anticipated Scott Pilgrim Versus The World about to be powered up, I thought it would be a good chance to chart the evolution of Cera going from a ten year old who can kill you with the power of his mind (seriously) - to creating classic comedy characters like George Michael, Francois Dillinger and Seths other half Evan. Not to mention, Scott Pilgrim himself.
The BeginningStarting out with a voice role at the age of 11 for Noddy, Michael Cera's career path was far from certain in 1998. The first major live action role he auditioned for was the role of I-see-dead-people child lead in M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense losing out to Hayley Joel Osmont. The movie was an instant hit and made Osmont a huge star at the turn of the Millennium but it would probably have been the death of Cera's career at such a young age. Too much pressure too soon, he would have been propelled into movies he wasn't ready for. He still needed to grown as an actor. After Noddy a slew of small minor dramatic TV appearances followed and a compendium of embarrassing clips to show on interview shows were inevitable. Starring in such classics as Walter and Henry; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxfjOeCOEJU&feature=related and My Louisiana Sky; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50RSEH6dNuQ&feature=related) But the best role he took, which was recently shown on an appearance with Letterman, was on the American TV series remake of La Femme Nikita. Playing a ten year old with the capability to kill with the power of his mind (I know I didnt think that Nikita had any element of supernatural powers), Cera manages to escape a foam cubed prison by killing two guards. Put it simply; watch the clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBpf_SLuOFgmind/
"I Gotta Have Faith"Following a few voice over stints on popular children TV shows in his teens, BraceFace and Rolie Polie Olie, along came the comedy breakthrough that would define Cera to his die hard fans. Thanks to Ron Howard and Michael Hurwitz - Arrested Development was born as to was Michael Cera as George Michael. Revolving around the riches to rags story of the Bluth family, Cera played the son of Jason Batemans Michael Bluth who attempted to keep the family together when his own father was involved in fraudulent behaviour with the Bluth company. Cera played the role of a pubescent awkward teenager who works on his fathers frozen banana stand who falls for his own cousin (Or is she?). Cera portrayed such a convincing character that to this day I believe that Michael Cera is George Michael (not the singer) and vice versa. Every actor and actress on the show were brilliant, but the burgeoning deadpan comedic talent of Cera seemed to shine through. His interaction with Maeby (Alia Shawkat) helped to turn incest into a subject for comedy, as if it wasnt already. But before I go into my huge rant about Arrested Development being destroyed by bad ratings (Shame on you American audiences), I want to visit a little seen gem which arose from AD.
When Michael Met ClarkDuring the first season of AD, Michael Cera fortunately became next door neighbours with another (albeit more recently) burgeoning comedy youngster, Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine, Kick-Ass). Becoming friend over a fence being opened, Clark was polite enough to let Cera in when he was locked out, and a webisode series was created which can be seen on YouTube; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6mvUkFFVJQ&feature=related The show followed the two friends as they write scripts and attempt to sell them while being followed round by a faux-documentary crew which documents their successes, but mostly failures. The result is actually really good and I recommend that if you are a Cera fan, check it out.
Development HellAs Arrested Development developed into one of the best sitcoms in many a year, the ratings unfortunately never followed. We got to watch as George Michael shared a kiss with Maeby and then get a girlfriend, Ann (Mae Whitman) who presented limitless comedy potential which the shows incredible writers never failed to avoid (she can next be seen beating up Scott Pilgrim). He continued to work the frozen banana stand and also did a hilarious tribute to the lightsaber wielding teenager who became an internet hit. Working on such a critically successful comedy with such brilliant writers was exactly what Ceras career needed and he left Arrested Development after its cancellation in 2006 after three brilliant seasons. With rumours of an Arrested Development film constantly littering the internet, we may not have seen the last of George Michael and this can only be a good thing. Michael Cera himself was quoted in an interview with Esquire magazine as saying,
Arrested Development never felt safe. Even the first season, we did thirteen episodes, and we thought we'd never do a back nine. So I never thought in a million years we'd get to make three seasons...I don't think we made a bad episode.Hes not wrong. If you havent seen it, just buy the DVDs and if you have seen it, join me in saying Screw you FOX, screw you. George Michaels greatest bits; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nycfNgZUwoM&feature=PlayList&p=D421A33B60D6E6D5&playnext_from=PL&index=0&playnext=1