November 7, 2008

Revenge of the Nerd: He’s Not One

By Kelley L. Carter

The ladies love McLovin'.

And they share a similar affection for Christopher Mintz-Plasse, the actor who played the nerdy sidekick in Superbad.

As outcast Augie Farks in Role Models (opening today), Mintz-Plasse is more geeked-up than ever.

"You know, there are ladies out there who just want to hook up with a movie star," Mintz-Plasse says, "and I'm not saying that I haven't hooked up with girls. But I'm not attracted to girls who are really beautiful and they sit there and they're oh-so cool. I like girls who are like, 'Do this!'" -- he snaps his fingers sharply for emphasis -- "and they're sarcastic back and make me think and keep me on top of my toes. "

Don't confuse Mintz-Plasse, 19, with the characters he plays in movies. Because the two, he says, are completely different. Mintz-Plasse was never the type to get stuffed into a trash can in high school or muscled around by the football team captains. In fact, he recalls being quite popular as a member of an improv theater group.

Superbad writer Seth Rogen raves about Mintz-Plasse's talents: "The kid is just hilarious. I just hope that he isn't always known for that role in my stupid movie."

The possibility of working with Paul Rudd prompted Mintz-Plasse's interest in Role Models. The role required him to transition from McLovin's confident nerd to someone more humble.

"McLovin' was a nerd who didn't really know he was a nerd. He's got this confidence; he hits on all the girls even though none of them are attracted to him," Mintz-Plasse says. "But Augie -- he has no confidence whatsoever. I had to play it down a lot."

Next he hopes to downplay the nerdy kid persona by teaming up with Nicholas Cage in the action film Kick-Ass.

"I'm playing like a 17-year-old kid who loves comic books," he says, laughing, "and he wants to be a superhero." (c) Copyright 2008 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. <>