Jonah Hill and Michael Cera star in Superbad, directed by Greg Mattola, as Seth and Evan, two high school seniors who try to get booze so that they could score with some hot chicks at a party later that night. Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), their dorky classmate, tries to help them throughout their wild adventures. Written by co-writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Judd Appatow, the writer/director of Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin, serves one of the producers. Jonah Hill has previously co-starred in Evan Almighty, Accepted and The 40 Year Old Virgin. Michael Cera can be found in the hit TV show "Arrested Development" as George-Michael Bluth. This marks Christopher Mintz-Plasse's acting debut. I had the privilege to interview all three of the stars together.
Columbia Pictures releases Superbad on August 17th, 2007.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What kind of movies do you tend to enjoy?
JH: The movies I like the most are the ones that mix both comedy and drama. One of the movies I’m writing is as much dramatic as it is funny. I think that’s what life is like. I like things that are true-to-life. Not everything in life is funny and not everything in life is serious.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What’s your opinion about most teen comedies?
JH: I hate teen comedies. The movie was made because we all hate teen comedies. They’re all inaccurate and dishonest. High School Musical has a different vibe than Superbad. There’s no music in this—people don’t break out into song. I never identified with most of them, except Dazed and Confused and Fast Times at Ridgemont High and American Graffiti. In real life, most people are in the middle—there’s five really cool people and five really lame people and everyone else just kinda hangs out in the middle. It’s not like they’re nerds with suspenders and jocks with letterman jackets.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What was it like being on the set?
JH: It like hanging out with friends. Everyone got along extraordinarily well. Most of us were friends beforehand and the rest of us became friends as a result of just hanging out all the time
MC: We were rehearsing and eating together. Chris went to California Pizza Kitchen, by the way. Then we went to Jamba Juice and took wheat grass shots.
CMP: It didn’t do anything for my health.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What was it like being around more experienced actors on the set?
CMP: It was very intimidating and scary. They were friendly and welcoming. They didn’t act like actor snobs like some people say actors are like. I just warmed up to them and that was that.
JH: That was like my experience in The 40 Year-Old Virgin. The same thing happened and that’s how Seth Rogen and I became friends.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Were you allowed to change your dialogue in the script?
MC: We would do a bunch of takes of the script and then we were very encouraged to say anything else we thought or felt in the moment. It was more about it feeling natural.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Does the dialogue feel realistic to you?
CMP: Yeah, it does. Kids talk like that in high school.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Which scene could you relate to the most?
JH: When Evan and Seth are walking into the liquor store in the beginning.
MC: The one that I can relate to is the one in the cafeteria when Seth goes, “I have to eat my dessert alone?” I remember being afraid to be seen alone and vulnerable.
CMP: For me, it was Seth’s speech when he was like, “There’s two weeks left of school and I don’t want to do any homework.” I was totally like that during senior year.
MC: I was like that all through high school.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Did the filmmakers hesitate casting you as a high school student because you’re 23?
JH: I was looked at last because of how well I know everybody. I wanted to play it, but it was assumed that I was too old because I’m a year younger than Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Unfortunately, Seth has aged terribly and I’ve aged pretty well.
MC: Seth has a funny story about how one day, they went into a meeting when he was pitching the movie and he was looking around for a t-shirt in his closet that would make him look younger. That’s the moment he realized that [his youth] was gone.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Which character does co-screenwriter Evan Goldberg resemble the most?
JH: [While watching Superbad], you get the feeling that Fogel was the Evan [Goldberg] and Evan Goldberg was the Fogel.
CMP: Except Evan Goldberg was able to change his life around [by becoming a screenwriter].
NYC MOVIE GURU: How has Superbad affected your fame thus far?
MC: I’ve gotten recognized from the Superbad billboards more than I have for “Arrested Development”.
CMP: I was standing behind a big cut-out of Superbad in a movie theater and it scared the shit out of me.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Why wasn’t there any nudity in Superbad?
CMP: You didn’t see a lot of nudity in high school.
JH: A lot of times, when a studio decides to make an R-rated movie, they make you put in female nudity which usually just makes you feel uncomfortable. It’s misogynistic in a lot of ways. It’s just strange to me. So, I just thought it was funny for Seth and Even to make a movie that was R-rated just because of the language. There was no nudity in the script, so why would they add it in?
NYC MOVIE GURU: How does Superbad’s shock value compare to that of The Aristocrats?
JH: The Aristocrats was just trying to be shocking and offensive, but Superbad never tried to push that.
MC: I couldn’t get into The Aristocrats in the theater. The women [at the door] just wouldn’t let me in.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What was the experience like at the Superbad college screenings you’ve attended throughout the country?
MC: The ones that we’ve been to were very positive. They’ve always been very into it and very complimentary afterwards—guys and girls, all ages.
JH: There were 70-year-old women wearing “I am McLovin” shirts.