October 4, 2008

Michael Cera Comfortable in Awkward-Guy Roles

By Michael Machosky

Michael Cera, at 20, already has a very interesting body of work behind him -- from the critically acclaimed TV show "Arrested Development" to the quirky teen romance "Juno."

His newest movie, "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist," isn't much of a departure for Cera. Actually, it's right down the middle of his strike zone -- playing the role of a smart, funny, awkward guy who almost reluctantly becomes the story's romantic lead.

Cera says he's not worried about getting typecast in any certain kind of role. Still, no offers to play serial killers or action heroes yet.

"I just kind of take things one at a time," Cera says. "I usually decide on something by looking at the director and the material. For this (film), I got sent the script and (the script for director) Peter Sollett's other movie, 'Raising Victor Vargas,' I really liked."

As "Nick & Norah's" whirlwind romance unfurls, Nick (Cera) and the just-met Norah (Kat Dennings) are surprised to find that they both love the same music. And they are both searching for a secret, unannounced show by the same semi-legendary cult band called Where's Fluffy.

Originally, a real band was supposed to play Where's Fluffy.

"It wasn't really based on anything," Cera says. "It was supposed to be a real band that, at some point, would be revealed. It was going to be a semi-known band, but all these bands kept dropping out. Still, it kind of worked out. Pete (Sollett) realized that, no matter what band it was, someone in the audience would feel alienated and wouldn't like them, and would be like, 'Oh, this is what they were waiting for the whole time?'

"He thought it would be better if people projected their own favorite bands on Where's Fluffy."

The real star of the film is New York City.

"Yeah, I think so," Cera agrees. "Pete's been in New York City for his whole life, and it's really romanticized in this. The same with 'Victor Vargas,' too."

As for you "Arrested Development" fans: Don't get your hopes up. Rumors that an "Arrested Development" movie are in the works are, so far, just rumors.

"I hear there's a rumor that it's in development," Cera says. "But all I ever hear is people asking me about it."

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