Michael Cera’s 3 Most Daring Film Roles

Michael Cera receives a lot of criticism for the way he acts, mostly aimed at his tendency to play the role of a mumbling dweeb. Somehow this has made him one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Despite the fact that superficial similarities exist in each of his characters, Michael Cera has shown some surprising acting depth in his short film career. Here are three films in which Michael Cera pushed his own boundaries.

“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” (2010)

So maybe taking on a large budget comic book adaptation in Hollywood does not count as pushing the limits. They usually turn out to be big budget blockbusters or colossal flops that can hardly be considered cinematic marvels.

“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” is a little different, though. Instead of adapting a well known superhero like most other comic book translations, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” takes a lesser known comic with quirky sensibilities and becomes one of the most original movies of the year.

There is no question that Michael Cera is still, for the most part, playing Michael Cera in this movie. What makes this a bold step for Cera is branching out from strictly comedy movies to try his had at some action.

The end result? It turns out Michael Cera can handle himself pretty well in action scenes, and his lovelorn loser schtick plays perfectly for the material. The risks were not huge, but Michael Cera still proved he could do something at least a little different.

“Youth in Revolt” (2010)

This might be where Michael Cera really proves his talent. In the duel role as Nick Twisp, a character essentially like every other Michael Cera character at first, and Francois Dillinger, Twisp’s evil alter ego, Cera flourishes in a way he never has before.

See also  Best 1940s Era Songs for Special Events

Michael Cera, especially when playing Francois, shows a surprising talent to play the bully instead of the bullied. Francois preys on Nick’s insecurities until, by the end of the movie, Nick is forced to deal with all of the despicable things his alter ego did.

“Youth in Revolt” shows that, while he does not branch out often, Michael Cera is indeed capable of playing something other than the norm. It suggests that Cera’s typecasting is not by design, but more due to the roles available to him. If Michael Cera can keep growing in the direction of “Youth in Revolt” his acting career could get a lot more interesting.

“Paper Heart” (2009)

Coming off of the Oscar-nominated “Juno” and crowd-pleasing “Superbad” Michael Cera made the curious choice of laying relatively low. Cera first showed up in the underwhelming “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” before popping up in Charlene Yi’s quirky, though amazing sincere, “Paper Heart.”

“Paper Heart” is presented as a documentary, with Charlene Yi interviewing various subjects on the topic of love. Yi is shown to not believe in love, that is, until meeting Michael Cera.

Playing himself, Michael Cera really does not need to change much about his demeanor. What makes the role such a refreshing change is the presentation. Cera and Yi share the same sensibilities, and the mockumentary style gives a unique spin on romantic comedy. It makes for a cute love story, one that blurs the line quite effectively between reality and fiction.