Michael Cera is one of the film world's biggest rising stars and has won wide acclaim for his roles in Arrested Development, Superbad and Juno. In his latest film, Youth In Revolt, he plays the role of Nick Twisp and his rebellious alter-ego called Francois who sends him on a path of destruction with unpredictable and uproarious consequences.
Youth in Revolt is your first lead role, how do you feel about carrying the film?
I feel pretty good about it. The process was so much fun; I loved getting to be [on set] every day for two months and being involved in something that is really different for me.
You play Nick Twisp and his alter-ego Francois, did you find it hard to switch between the two characters?
It wasn't too difficult it's just a trick you have to learn. It’s a new device that I have never done before but it’s more fun than difficult. As soon as you put the wardrobe on, and for Francois put the contacts in, it wasn't too tricky to get into, it just sort of happened. For a part like that - over the top - it really helps to have those things to hide behind.
Was playing Francois more fun?
I don't think I really preferred one or the other - I had a really good time doing both. I really liked when I got to do both in one day.
Had you read the books [by CD Payne] before you started working on the film?
I was a big fan of the books. I reread them before and then was reading them all throughout the movie just to absorb the spirit of it.
How did you find working with cinematic heavyweights like Steve Buscemi and Ray Liotta?
It was amazing to just to watch them, see them dissect the scene and figure out how they were going to do it. Ray was only there for two days but it was amazing to watch him work and be around him.
Has Youth in Revolt been your favourite project so far?
This one definitely has a special place in my heart. Miguel Arteta [the director] was a really special person to collaborate with and he's become a really good friend of mine and an important guy in my life. He really included me on every little part of the process, not because he had to but because he knew I really cared about the movie. He wanted to share that with me. It was a really important thing for me to be able to experience.
You’re seen as a comedy actor, have you considered more serious roles?
I wouldn't be against that. I guess I will just see what comes along and decide in the moment.
Have you had more roles offered to you recently?
Definitely more than before, it's really changed the way I get work now which is a really strange thing to adjust to actually. You get used to auditioning and the safety that you have with that. Now I'll get a script with a part that's appropriate and I don't have to go and prove myself which kind of makes it scarier.
What is the latest news on the potential film version of Arrested Development?
I think they're just developing script ideas right now. I would love it so much; I think everyone else is on board.
It was such a popular show in the USA, and the UK, do you think it can work as a film?
It’s really hard to say - I really trust Mitch [Hurwitz, the creator] and I think he would not want to make it the wrong way. I think he's going to do the best he can and I would want to see an effort from him, whether it worked or not I think it would be worth watching.
Who has been your favourite actor to work with?
I've really felt very lucky with everyone that I've worked with - I think I've been exceptionally lucky with people. I've made a lot of really good friends that I am really grateful are in my life now. I don't know if I have one favourite. I got really close with Jonah Hill from Superbad and I just did a movie called Scott Pilgrim that Edgar Wright directed and I made a lot of really good friends on that too, I think I have just been pretty lucky across the board.
Can you say a bit more about Scott Pilgrim?
It's based on a graphic novel series that takes place in Toronto, which is where we shot the movie, about a guy named Scott Pilgrim who meets a girl that wants to be with, and to be with her he has to defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends. Jason Schwartzman is in it. Kieran Culkin is in it too, he plays my roommate. He is really excellent in this movie.
NUS has just launched the Vote For Students campaign. As a young, influential actor, how important do you think it is that students vote in elections?
I think it's important they care and are involved in the decisions. I guess it depends on how important it is to the individual - it's important that people care about it.
Youth in Revolt is out at cinemas everywhere from 5 February.
- Are you bad enough to win over the boy/girl of your dreams? If not, fear not, as Youth in Revolt has a great way to help you get down with your bad self and create the perfect alter-ego here.