Michael Cera Almost Quit Acting After Superbad Fame Led to Crisis

Michael Cera revealed in an interview with The Guardian that he suffered a career crisis at 19 years old after his career exploded thanks to the 2007 releases of awards juggernaut “Juno” and R-rated comedy blockbuster “Superbad.” Both films helped Cera become a household name, but that made life difficult for him in return.

“I didn’t know how to handle walking down the street,” Cera said. “Fame makes you very uncomfortable in your own skin, and makes you paranoid and weird. There were lots of great things about it, and I met a lot of amazing people, but there’s a lot of bad energies, too, ones that I was not equipped to handle.”

Cera cited “drunk people” as a “classic example” of how fame became uncomfortable to handle.

“You know, if people are drunk, and they recognize you, and they’re very enthusiastic, but it can be kind of toxic too,” Cera said. “When you’re a kid, people also feel they can kind of grab you — they’re not that respectful of you or your physical space. I didn’t know how to respectfully establish my own boundaries. It was like a burning feeling the whole time, just like everybody was so aware of me. It was a mistake.”

“There was a point where I wanted to stop taking jobs that would make me more famous,” he continued, noting that he passed on a “Saturday Night Live” hosting offer much to the disappointment of his agents. “I was kind of having a bit of a crisis. I was really not enjoying the level of heat. I really didn’t know if I was going to keep being an actor.”

Cera’s career crisis gave him perspective on the kind of actor he wanted to be. “I think I wanted to be a working actor who can enjoy my day-to-day life, and the world that I’ve created for myself,” he said. “I think that was the overall thing I was trying to figure out.”

Although he was doubting his acting career, Cera was already attached to lead Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim” adaptation at the time and did not want to back out of it. The film went on to become a cult classic, and now Cera is voicing the character in Netflix’s new animated series based on the popular graphic novel. Next up for the actor is a supporting role in Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” movie, in theaters July 21 from Warner Bros.

Head over to The Guardian’s website to read Cera’ latest profile in its entirety.

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