Insider Interrogation: Michael Cera
He may play a typically awkward hipster nerdling on screen, but what lies beneath the geekish exterior? Stephen Milton challenged Cera with our probing questionnaire to find out.
Cera's cv highlights
Arrested Development (2003-2013)
Scott Pilgrim Versus The World (2010)
Real Age: 25
Why do you do what you do for a living?
It's weird, it's a choice I made as a nine-year-old kid and luckily I'm still doing what I do when I decided at that age. It's something I told myself I could do because there were so many other things I never had a chance to do.
I keep at it because I keep meeting people who are inspiring and amazing and you're really lucky if you can keep doing this kind of work. And what I love is you can make your own structures and challenges through life.
It's fun, you're getting to do something that's a game for a living. It's ridiculous.
What is most rewarding about your life?
The people in my life. In every respect. My family, my loved ones. I think for all of us, it's something we're not necessarily grateful for every day so it's good to remember how lucky you are.
Are you generally happy with people's perception of you?
Yeah, I guess. I don't really think about it to be honest.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I could speak a lot more languages and I wish I could deadlift 315 lbs [laughs]. But mostly the languages thing. I'm not doing too badly with Spanish, thanks to my time spent in Chile working on Magic Magic, but you know, no harm to strive for more.
What's the rumour about you that's bothered you the most?
I really make an active choice not to read reports about myself, and normally they come from my mom. But somebody asked me at dinner the other night: "Are the rumours true that you and Will Smith are going to star in season two of True Detective?" I didn't know that that was a rumour but that's an excellent one. It's beautiful and I hope it comes true.
It's Sunday night, you're curling up to watch TV for the night. What's on your DVR?
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, that Norman Lear TV show. Awesome stuff, you should definitely check it out. It's criminally underrated, everyone should see it.
What's the most shamefully uncool album you own?
I have the soundtrack to the film, Yours, Mine and Ours, composed and directed by Fred Carlin. It's slightly embarrassing, I'll admit that. If you don't know it, have a listen and you'll understand what I'm talking about.
Do you like being famous?
No, no I don't appreciate the attention. And it's not an overwhelming thing to deal with, I see others who have to deal with it to a far more serious degree but it's still a lot to deal with. People give you attention and I have no idea what to do with it. But some people are really great when it comes to fame.
What drives you on a daily basis?
Just seeing really good movies really inspires me and makes me want to do more great work and that's my daily motivation. Seeing stuff that's beautiful and perfect really motivates me to do something similar.
Who is your hero?
So many. Akira Kurosawa is just amazing, Garry Shandling, Jerry Seinfeld – he's a big influence, part of my DNA really. Louis CK is really inspiring, Bill Murray. So many.
What makes you emotional?
Just general sad stuff I guess. And seeing one of my loved ones in pain. And I also get sad at the end of a movie when it's perfect. Or more I get emotional, sentimental that they nailed such a beautiful perfect ending. Making it exactly what it should be, I get a swell of emotion.
It can even be funny, like The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, the original with Walter Matthau, it's hilarious and I get really worked up by it. And like the end of Fargo, when they're lying in bed and he pats her stomach and says, "Two more months". That got me good.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Working I hope, with exciting people. I can't ask for more than that. Happy, healthy and working.
Magic Magic is in cinemas now