By Fred Topel | Image property of Columbia Pictures.
Jonah Hill and Michael Cera seem like the best of friends in Superbad. Playing two high school seniors obsessed with sex seemed very natural. The duo did some method preparation to make sure their relationship came across on screen.
Michael Cera Goes Back to High School with Superbad
“We drove around together a lot, talked about the movie,” said Cera. “Talked about other movies, ate food, played video games. We all rehearsed together. We went to CPK and I got the barbecue chicken chops. Then we did a shot of wheat grass at Jamba Juice. That’s the first time either us had ever tried it. Didn’t feel any better. Also, we rehearsed in Greg [Mottola]’s office a lot. We were pretty comfortable with each other by the time it came to film.”
Produced by Judd Apatow, Superbad maintains his style of improvising around the scripted lines. “We would do a bunch of takes. Then you're kind of encouraged to say whatever you wanted. The table-read that we did, where we were just reading off the page with no improvising at all got a lot of laughs. It was funny just reading it. It wasn't a necessity to improvise. It kind of keeps it fresh.”
The film maintains a ‘70s motif with the title and soundtrack. “I think that came from Greg too basically. He took the title Superbad, and came up with the soundtrack and everything, that whole funk thing. I think that all came from him. He watched a lot of old movies and stuff. I thought it was a great idea. I think it works really well.”
The film even opens with Cera and Hill dancing in silhouette. This idea emerged from a gag of Cera’s. “We recorded me dancing for an hour straight. It was [co-writer] Evan [Goldberg]'s idea. For the DVD menu, I think they can do that. If it's like a BluRay disk, they can have menus that long. It would be an hour of me dancing without looping. So the people would be like, 'Oh, how long does this go on for?' They would wait for it to loop and it never would. It's actually a great idea. So I danced for an entire tape, which is like 53 minutes, and it's just a menu in front of a green screen. Then someone made, I think it was an Editor's Assistant made that intro of me dancing with like a silhouette. It was the intro of the movie. It was exactly like that. Then they recorded Jonah dancing because they liked it and decided to use it at the beginning of the movie, which I love. I think it's really good.”
With no dance training, Cera just busted his own moves, with a few suggestions. “They were playing music. They were playing the Unicorns over the loudspeaker. Evan was like shouting things out at me to do. 'Pretend you're using a lawn mower.'”