From baby daddy in Juno to party animal in Superbad, Michael Cera has played an array of characters that have a raw edge. Making his way into the hearts of audiences again this year is Michael’s latest film The LEGO Batman Movie, voicing young orphan boy Dick Grayson/Robin.
Batman and Robin have a unique dynamic that makes this laugh-out-loud comedy an instant hit. The movie opens wide in theatres this Friday (Feb 10).
Assistant Editor Marriska Fernandes sat down with Michael to discuss Robin, bad guys and of course, LEGO.
What made you want to get involved in the project?
I was a big fan of the first LEGO movie. I just saw it on a whim one day, it was playing in my neighborhood and I loved it. I liked it so much more than I expected to and I was telling all my friends that they have to see it. And then I just got an email out of the blue that they were thinking of me for this part.
Did you play with LEGO as a child?
Not so much. I played Nintendo and with friends and I loved being in the park. I never did LEGO so much. Some people can really draw, I could never do that. If you have a visual sense you can enjoy playing with LEGO.
Could you talk about your inspiration for finding the voice of Robin?
The man who directed this script was Chris McKay. I was just going of off him mostly. When I was doing the voice for him for the first time, they had the opening sequence pretty much animated with music and everything. I saw that the first day I went to work on this and that gave me a good sense of what we are doing.
Did you get a chance to improv?
Yeah! I’m a big fan of Chris and the way he works. He was really encouraging. Maybe it happens in your job too when you feel encouraged or you have an employer who makes you feel valuable, it makes you feel good and you feel better about what you’re doing. I had that with him. He laughs a lot. If you have an idea you throw out, he’ll go with it and build on it. It’s very loose. You can find a new joke and they can animate it. It was very open and fun.
Your character is overly optimistic and cute. What do you think kids will take away from Robin?
I hope they find it funny! I mean there is a hit-me-over-the-head message about the movie about accepting help and being part of the team and not self-imposing this loneliness on yourself in a comical way that’s laced in there. Maybe kids will absorb that. I like how silly the humor is.
Did you record by yourself or did you record with other actors?
I never got a chance to record with any of the other actors actually. I think they wanted to get us together but it didn’t happen. But the movie is so specific in its rhythm that even if we recorded together they would be editing it very heavily. It’s not like they would use a live tape of us playing off each other. But yeah, it didn’t happen due to scheduling.
Are there any plans to do sequels or reprise your role?
I don’t know. It is set up for that. They could do a bunch, but depends if this one is successful or not. That’s probably the determining factor. I would love to though.
Batman has The Joker as his bad guy. Who would Robin’s be if you could pick anyone?
Doesn’t The Joker have a sidekick? Baby Clown… yup that’s it.
Batdad has tons of terrible advice in the movie. Have you ever gotten terrible advice in your life?
I’m sure I have. I just don’t remember it. You’re supposed to forget that. I’m sure I have gotten terrible advice. People are full of that. (Laughs) You’ve got to watch out for that.
What’s next for you?
I just did this Aaron Sorkin movie in Toronto that I finished shooting last week. It’s his directorial debut. It’s called Molly’s Game.
Amazing. Thank you so much for chatting with us!