Michael Cera opines Jack Black is far more cut out for acting stardom than him: "He's amazing at it"

Michael Cera
Michael Cera

On the surface, performance and stardom can appear to go hand in hand. Why put on a show for no one to admire? But take it from Michael Cera, who has spent the last two decades in varying degrees of limelight: being an actor doesn’t mean you’re a people person extraordinaire.

“I’m just a very sensitive person, and very sensitive to the people that I meet and to other people’s energies. So I love people a lot and really love the people that make sense to me, that my brain can understand as human beings. But there’s just so many people on planet Earth that are confusing to me,” Cera explains in a new conversation with The Hollywood Reporter’s Alex Ritman. “I think when you get really famous, you’re just like a magnet to people. And all kinds of people come up to you, and I just can’t handle it. I’m not really cut out for that level of interaction with so many different types. I don’t have a strong enough personality for that.”

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As Cera sees it: “To be really good at being an actor, you kind of have to be an amazing public figure.” Placing the peak of his exposure “when I was about 20 or so,” Cera recalls loving the work that he did while simultaneously feeling overwhelmed by the public-facing requirements of that work. Plus, when he look around, he saw other actors he felt captured that lightning-in-a-bottle of talent and affability better than he ever could. Case in point: Jack Black.

“I worked with Jack Black in 2008 [on the film Year One] and saw the way that he would handle people coming up to him, and I just thought, ‘Okay, I actually just don’t have the makeup,’” Cera shares. “Because he’s amazing at it.”

So what makes Jack Black so amazing with people? Per Cera, it’s more than just an extension of cultural adoration for Dewey Finn and Nacho Libre; it’s a certain level of personal selflessness. “He’s so generous with everyone, and it’s really beautiful that he can give up himself in that way,” Cera says of Black. “It’s a personality type.”

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