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Wise asses

Some words with the class clowns of Superbad
By CHRIS BRAIOTTA  |  September 19, 2007


VIDEO: Chis Braiotta interviews the stars of Superbad

"Comic relief: Superbad respects teens and comedy." Chris Braiotta.
"Superbad: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Lakeshore." By Charles Taylor.
With all the star power being trotted out in this summer’s would-be blockbuster comedies, how likely was it that the best would be Superbad? Its biggest star is Michael Cera, a teenager who appeared as part of the ensemble in the consistently low-rated Arrested Development. Cera’s co-star is Jonah Hill — probably best known as the sarcastic fat guy with curly hair who wasn’t Seth Rogen in Knocked Up. And if few had heard of Cera or Hill, no one had heard of newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who was plucked out of high school to round out the film’s lead troika. Yet, for those who caught that brief glimpse of Cera’s charm, and for anyone who’s been a fan of Judd (Knocked Up, Freaks and Geeks, The 40 Year Old Virgin) Apatow, who produced Superbad, it wasn’t a surprise at all. Here’s how this trio of brand new stars explain it:

What do you think about the way adults seem obsessed with high-school movies?
JH I don’t know, I mean, everyone went through high school and everyone’s got their own high-school experience to talk about. But the people who made Superbad, Seth [Rogen] and Evan [Goldberg], wrote it when they were in high school, so it wasn’t a recounting of high school at the time. It was more just wanting to write a movie about kids like them. The problem with most teen movies is that they’re not movies about teenagers. I was in high school, what, five years ago? And to even watch this movie is really awesome and nostalgic, because it reminds me of what it was like to be there.

What do you feel Superbad captures that other teen movies don’t?
JH
Reality.
CM-P Friendship.
MC Yeah, it’s more about the friendship than this sort of come-and-go thing you might see elsewhere. I’m trying to think of other high-school movies, but I know that the main focus when we were making this, at least from our point of view, was to care about the friendship between the two guys, and the fact that they’re separating.

Do you think that comes out of the script or the direction or the chemistry between you guys?
CM-P
All three, really.
MC Everything that drives the movie comes from this fear of being apart from your best friend.
JH You can’t get away with being vulgar if the emotional story doesn’t work. Otherwise people won’t buy it and they won’t like sitting through it. They’ll listen to you be dirty and funny if they care about your characters. Everyone’s intention was to make this feel like a real friendship, which I think we accomplished.

Jonah, you’re 23. Was there anything you had to change about yourself in order to come across as 18?
JH I had to alter the way I carried myself, yeah. That was something Judd and Greg [Mottola, director] and I had talked about — trying to lose some of the confidence I’ve probably gained since being in high school. I moved back in with my parents.

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Related: Comic relief, Are you Superbad?, The cuteness surge, More more >
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