The rise of 20-year-old Michael Cera is an interesting phenomenon that should not be taken lightly. Though he received top billing in the Judd Apatow-produced “Superbad” in 2007, Cera is not necessarily a full-fledged member of the Apatow comedy juggernaut in the way that Seth Rogen is. Michael Cera’s prominence grew in large part from the three-year FOX series “Arrested Development” with his portrayal of George Michael Bluth, the son of Jason Bateman’s character Michael and the grandson to George Bluth, Sr., played by Jeffrey Tambor. The show’s acquired taste – its largely deadpan humor confused audiences during its 2003 – 2006 run – was a perfect outlet for Michael Cera’s own quirky sense of comedic delivery. Even as a mid-teen while on the show, he thrived. And now with the show considered an early cult classic that has found a devoted DVD fan following, Cera himself has developed not only a fierce fan base, but has emerged at a time when his brand of humor is on fire in the American comedy scene.
And yet, Michael Cera is Canadian. He was born in 1988 to a Sicilian father and Canadian mother. He started as a teen actor in commercials and television shows as well as child roles in films like “Steal This Movie” and “Frequency.” By the early 2000s he was dividing his time between Ontario, Canada and Los Angeles, California. In 2001, Mitchell Hurwitz, the executive producer of “Arrested Development,” brought Michael on to audition as the teenage son to Jason Bateman. By 2003, he was part of the ensemble cast on FOX. Cera’s television experience up to the “Arrested Development” debut was on 12 episodes of “Braceface,” the Alicia Silverstone-led animated comedy in 2001.
By the time of the abrupt “Arrested Development” cancellation in February 2006, Michael Cera was on the cusp of a breakthrough. He bided his time by providing work in a short student film and teaming with friend and fellow actor Clark Duke on the web series “Clark & Michael,” which was picked up by CBS. Cera also often served as director and writer on the series, though much of the acting was largely improvised by the two leads. While it remained mostly under the radar, the web series received much praise and garnered a following. In the fall of 2006, Cera began shooting “Superbad” for Judd Apatow and his clan, playing one of the two leads. The film, which cost $20 million and eventually grossed over $120 million following its release in summer 2007, helped boost Cera’s exposure. And with “Juno,” the indie award favorite that was released in theatres in December that same year, Cera found himself named as the number one star under 30 according to Entertainment Weekly.
Entering his 20s, Michael Cera will eventually find himself in a challenging position. He crossed one mountain by establishing himself on “Arrested Development” and then cemented his talent with the work that followed, primarily the 2007 duo of “Superbad” and “Juno.” But there will come a time when Cera will need to up the ante, when he’ll need to take the leap from repeating what he’s already done as a teenager and move into more challenging, comedic roles. If the scripts are to his liking, then Michael Cera should have no problem continuing to forge his unique brand of humor. No doubt he will move into writing and directing for himself, but if he’s here to stay, he needs to stay savvy to maintaining a fresh, interesting comedic outlook to remain relevant. Hopefully he’ll continue to be open to projects that come his way that challenge his far-reaching abilities.
Michael Cera Photos
Michael on the Web
Michael’s ultimate web resource.
TV Guide: Michael Cera
Bio, news and video clips of Michael.
Full bio, trivia and links to new films.
Brief bio with complete filmography.
Fansite with archived news, video clips, biography, and media page.
Michael Cera Source.net
“Your source for everything Michael Cera.”
“Clark & Michael” Official Site
Homepage of the web series.
Brian Palmer Interview
Brian Palmer chats with Michael in a lengthy November 2005 interview.
Michael and Ellen Page discuss “Juno.”
Michael on Video
“Michael Cera gets fired from ‘Knocked Up’”
A what-if scenario of having Michael Cera in the lead role in “Knocked Up”
Impossible is the Opposite of Possible
Michael Cera’s video “resume.”
EW.com Just a Minute Interview
Michael and Jason Bateman on “Juno.”
Cera on Letterman
Michael visits the show around the “Superbad” release.
Michael on the Screen
Michael kicked off his career in 2000 with roles in “Steal This Movie” and “Frequency.” He’s Josh Spitz for 12 episodes on “Braceface,” Max for two episodes of “Doc,” young Chuck Barris in “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” for George Clooney in 2002, and Little Gizmo for four episodes of “Rolie Polie Olie.” The breakthrough came on “Arrested Development,” followed in 2006 with appearances on "Veronica Mars," “Tom Goes to the Mayor,” “Superbad," “Juno" and "Youth in Revolt."
Michael can currently be seen as the title character in Edgar Wright’s adaptation of the indie comic series, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.” Among the actor’s rumored projects are the long stagnant “Arrested Development” movie and a big screen update of "Gilligan's Island" with Michael in the lead role.
On working with other actors:
“I'm not going to let my concern of someone else's welfare affect my overall performance. Ever.”