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Near-Exit from Acting for Michael Cera After a Cult-Classic Film

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Michael Cera's acting career

The burden of fame is undoubtedly significant at any point in life, but it becomes particularly acute when one gains recognition at a tender age. Such was the case for Michael Cera, who rose to stardom at 19 after his success in Juno and Superbad. This sudden fame threw him into a crisis that almost made him abandon his acting career. Now returning to the cinema with the much-awaited Barbie, Cera reflects on his ordeal of dealing with sudden popularity at a young age, recounting how he felt “uncomfortable” within his own skin. With Juno and Superbad released in 2007 and gaining critical and commercial acclaim ($232.3 million and $170.8 million in gross revenue, respectively), Cera was thrust into the spotlight.

In a conversation with The Guardian, Cera candidly discussed how he grappled with fame’s side effects, saying, “I didn’t know how to handle being recognized on the streets. Fame can make you feel uneasy and paranoid. Although there were several positive aspects and I met numerous incredible people, it also has its negatives, many of which I wasn’t prepared for.” As an example of these negatives, Cera pointed out the issues with “drunk people”, saying, “When people are intoxicated and recognize you, they can get overly enthusiastic, which can also be somewhat toxic.” This problem was magnified by Cera’s youth, explaining, “when you’re young, people don’t always respect your personal space. I was ill-prepared to set my own boundaries. It was like a searing feeling, like everyone was constantly aware of me. It was a mistake.”

This challenging experience was almost sufficient to push Cera out of the acting industry. He shared that there was a moment where he contemplated refusing roles that would enhance his fame. He even declined an offer to host Saturday Night Live, fearing it would only boost his fame further. He added, “I was having something of a crisis, struggling to enjoy the intensity of the spotlight. I wasn’t sure if I would continue acting.” Despite the crisis’s difficulties, it helped Cera gain perspective on his career aspirations, concluding, “I think I wanted to be an actor who can take pleasure in my everyday life and the world I’ve built for myself. That was the key thing I was trying to understand.”

Image via Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group

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Michael Cera vs. the World

Luckily, Cera decided not to quit acting. After Superbad, he was already committed to play the leading role in Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and didn’t want to abandon the project. This film later became a cult favourite, with both Cera and Wright planning to return for an animated adaptation of the original graphic novel for Netflix. The voice cast for the upcoming series includes original cast members Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aubrey Plaza, Brie Larson, and Chris Evans.

Cera stars in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, set to hit theaters on July 21. Check out the trailer below:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Michael Cera’s acting career

What was the cause of Michael Cera’s crisis early in his career?

Michael Cera’s crisis was triggered by his sudden fame at a young age following the success of his movies Juno and Superbad. He felt uncomfortable and struggled with the negative aspects of fame, such as people’s lack of respect for his personal space.

What movie almost made Michael Cera quit acting?

The success of Juno and Superbad, both released in 2007, catapulted Michael Cera into fame, almost making him quit acting due to the intense pressure and discomfort that came with it.

How did Michael Cera handle his fame at a young age?

Michael Cera admitted he did not know how to handle the pressures of fame at a young age. The recognition and constant public attention made him uncomfortable and paranoid. However, he later gained perspective on what he wanted from his career.

What project prevented Michael Cera from quitting acting?

After Superbad, Michael Cera had already signed on to play the titular role in Edgar Wright’s film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and he decided not to quit acting as he didn’t want to drop out of this project.

What is Michael Cera’s upcoming project?

Michael Cera’s upcoming project is the highly anticipated film Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig.

More about Michael Cera’s acting career

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MovieNerd21 July 17, 2023 - 7:51 pm

damn, can’t imagine turning down SNL because of fame. Goes to show how hard it can be sometimes. Glad Cera stayed in the game though. His performances are always a treat to watch.

JakeTheFilmBuff July 18, 2023 - 12:29 am

Man, I had no idea Cera had such a tough time with the fame… Makes u realize these stars are just people too. Can’t wait for Barbie tho, Greta Gerwig’s films are always top notch!

RetroCultClassicsFan July 18, 2023 - 3:09 am

Scott Pilgrim was a masterpiece and im glad Cera stuck around for it. It wouldn’t have been the same without him.

SandraL July 18, 2023 - 6:26 am

Wow, Cera’s story is really relatable… Fame isn’t always a bed of roses, is it? It’s great he didn’t quit acting. Love his work in Scott Pilgrim. lookin forward to the Barbie film!!

PhilInPhilm July 18, 2023 - 12:37 pm

it’s surprising to see that actors like Cera, who’ve been in the industry since their teens, face such struggles. But it’s admirable how they grow from it. Eager to see Barbie. Greta Gerwig is a genius director!


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