Michael Cera on Making His Broadway Debut: “You get used to having an audience, I think. Your body gets used to that in a weird way”
Michael Cera portrayed one of the all-time hipster paradigms in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, so it’s only natural that Cera would find himself living in Brooklyn at some point. Of course, Cera is here for an acting project — he is making his Broadway debut in This Is Our Youth, written by Kenneth Lonergan, starring alongside Kieran Culkin and Tavi Gevinson.
Cera admits that he thinks the move to New York was good for him. He says, “I was not really enjoying living in L.A. Aside from all my friends out there, the city didn’t really fit me, I thought. And vice versa. I always loved New York. I always wanted to live here since I was a kid.”
In This Is Our Youth Cera plays a (what else) geek, but one who steals $15,000 from his father. Though Cera doesn’t see himself as a stage actor, he felt comfortable in the material because of how it relates to his previous work. He says, “I would have doubts if it were something different, something completely outside of my wheelhouse. Like a musical, or something. Or, I don’t know, Shakespeare.” Nonetheless, he confesses that performing in front of a life audience for the first few times was difficult for him. He admits, “It was definitely really scary the first few times at Steppenwolf. But that kind of goes away. You get used to having an audience, I think. Your body gets used to that in a weird way.”
As for the experience of being on Broadway, Cera says that it’s very different but he is impressed that it doesn’t require the budget of a film to connect with an audience. He says, “I think it’s fascinating that this has no bells and whistles, really. The value of the experience is this emotional arc and that, for a mainstream thing, I think that is significant.”