11 Facts About Michael Cera That Make Complete Sense
Some celebrities ooze glamour. Others exude grace. Some are just plain quirky. Michael Cera falls into the latter category.
As much of an oddball as Michael Cera seems, his roles in award-winning movies like "Juno" and "Superbad," not to mention dozens of TV shows and some self-made comedy shorts, prove he's seriously eccentric and seriously talented.
You might be surprised to discover that Cera is skilled in more areas than one, and has worked on several projects you've probably never even heard of. While his range and his roots might be surprising, they are expected at the same time. That's the unique charm of Michael Cera.
1. Artistic Talent Runs in His Family
Michael Austin Cera was born in Brampton, Canada, in 1988, and grew up in the Canadian province of Ontario. His parents both worked at Xerox, and he has two sisters, who also share his interest in the arts.
Neither followed in his Hollywood footsteps, but his older sister, Jordan, is a talented painter, and his younger sister, Molly, loves to write.
2. Michael Cera Was Inspired to Act by Watching Ghostbusters
"Ghostbusters" seems like it should be reserved for tweens and teens, but Michael Cera became obsessed with it when he was only 3. He loved Bill Murray's depiction of Dr. Peter Venkman so much that he memorized all of his lines.
Cera's first acting gig was a minor, unpaid role in a Tim Hortons summer camp TV ad. In a later commercial, Cera got to poke the Pillsbury Doughboy and say his first lines on screen.
By 2003, he was voice acting, providing the voice of Brother Bear in the animated children's series "The Berenstain Bears."
3. Michael Cera's First Crush Was Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell
Sure, Kelly Kapowski (played by Tiffani Amber Thiessen) in "Save by the Bell" was the universal crush of boys in the '90s, but it's strangely endearing that a successful Hollywood actor like Michael Cera was in love with her just like everyone else.
Despite the influence of showbiz, Cera remains surprisingly down-to-earth.
4. Michael Cera Took on the Role of George Michael in 'Arrested Development' When He Was Only 17
In 2003, Cera landed his first big television role in "Arrested Development" as George Michael Bluth, the teenage son of Michael Bluth, played by Jason Bateman The hilarious show follows the antics of the dysfunctional Bluth family, with stints in jail, evil twins, shopaholics and a banana stand.
The show drew critical acclaim but was canceled after just three seasons. In an interview with Esquire in 2009, Michael Cera shared his thoughts about the show:
"Arrested Development never felt safe. Even the first season, we did 13 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 was happy we got that far. I thought it was really good, and I'm really proud of it. I don't think we made a bad episode."
Fans missed the show so much that it was later renewed for two more seasons and finished with a total of 84 episodes.
5. 2007 Was a Big Year for Michael Cera
2007 was the year Cera really made it big. First, he played a dorky high school student in "Superbad," followed in quick succession by his role as the orange Tic-Tac-loving Paulie Bleeker in "Juno."
He was named Breakthrough Artist of the Year by the Austin Film Critics Association that year thanks to his performances. Despite the success of "Juno," he never wanted it to have a sequel, preferring the story to end the way it was.
6. The Very Next Year, Entertainment Weekly Honored Him in a Big Way
Every year, Entertainment Weekly comes out with a list of the most promising young actors under 30. Not long after his breakthrough performances in "Superbad" and "Juno," he was ranked number one in Entertainment Weekly's "30 Under 30 Actors" list of 2008.
7. He Once Made a Mockumentary With His Best Friend
With his best friend Clark Duke, Cera made a mockumentary called "Clark and Michael." The comedic series of short videos follow the friends' attempts to sell a TV pilot.
The pair attempted to play dumber, goofier versions of themselves, and hoped it would land a spot on Adult Swim. Much to Cera's disappointment, it ended up being an online series for CBS instead.
He considered a web series to be a significant downgrade.
8. Cera Learned Spanish for a Role
While not all of Cera's projects were massive hits, Cera's commitment to his work is impressive. For a role in the 2013 psychological thriller "Magic Magic," which was set in Chile, Cera learned to speak Spanish.
He spent five hours every day studying the language. In the process, he also learned that his last name translates to "wax" in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
9. Did We Mention He's an Accomplished Musician, Too?
The sweet-faced Cera really is multitalented. He was a backup singer for the American rock band Weezer in the song "Hang On," and once said his favorite of the band's albums is "Pinkerton."
In 2014, he released an album of his own called "True That," and also toured as a bassist for the indie rock group Mister Heavenly.
Where does he find the time?
10. Michael Cera Has Even Been on Broadway
Seriously, how does he act on screen, act on stage and tour with a band all in the span of a couple of years? Cera's Broadway debut was back in 2014 in Kenneth Lonergan's "This Is Our Youth."
Just four years later, he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play. He also starred in a revival of Lonergan's The Waverly Gallery.
11. Awkward Is Michael Cera's Brand, and the Audience Loves It
Not gonna lie, we love it too. The moral of this story: Figure out who you are and lean into it. If you end up half as cool as Michael Cera, you'll be pretty stinkin' cool.