Michael Cera and Jake M. Johnson Exclusive Video Interview – PAPER HEART

     February 8, 2009

Written by Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintraub

A movie that I really enjoyed at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was “Paper Heart”. This is one of those films that was buzzed about before the festival started as it featured real life couple Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi, and everyone wondered if they showed their real relationship on screen. Also, an actor named Jake Johnson played director Nicholas Jasenovec, so everyone was curious what that meant.

The short answer is…it’s hard to describe. Unlike most films that have an easy one-liner, “Paper Heart” is part fiction and part non-fiction. When you watch Charlyne interviewing kids and other interview subjects about love, it’s all real. But when you watch Michael and Charlyne talking about various things while eating hot dogs on Hollywood Blvd., it’s pretty clear some of it is being done to add drama to the narrative.

I think that’s one of the reasons the film hasn’t sold yet. It’s hard to describe so studio marketing people get nervous. Whatever. Eventually a studio will buy this movie as Michael Cera has a ton of fans and people will want to see this.

So while at this year’s Sundance, I was able to interview Michael Cera and Jake M. Johnson – who plays director Nicholas Jasenovec in the movie. It’s a little weird…just go with it. Anyway, during our extended interview we talked about everything you’d want to know. Also, I asked Michael at the end of the interview if director Edgar Wright had begun making him train for “Scott Pilgrim”. If you’re a fan of Michael Cera, I promise you’ll enjoy watching this.

Finally, here’s a link to the interview I did with Charlyne Yi and Director Nicholas Jasenovec. And if you’d like to see some movie clips from “Paper Heart”, click here.

Michael Cera and Jake M. Johnson – part 1

  • What you need to know to start things off is…we had just spent a minute going over how the microphone works and how they needed to aim it at me when I ask the questions…

  • When did they first find out they were going to be in Sundance

  • Michael starts acting crazy with the microphone…

  • This film seems like it was under the radar of a lot of people, how did they accomplish that

  • Was the film they set out to make always what they intended to do. Did anything change

  • I ask Michael how much was he involved with the tone – especially about the Michael character of the movie

  • Michael talks about who was cut out of the film…maybe it was Brad Pitt….

  • We talk about how Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise like to hang on to Michael’s celebrity status

  • How much was scripted and how much was improv

  • How long did they spend filming – they talk about how the ending was supposed to be the first thing they shot but it got all screwed up

Michael Cera and Jake M. Johnson – part 2

  • Is the house featured in the film when they go to Toronto actually Michael’s house

  • Lots of stories of trying to get to Toronto

  • We talk about the Sundance Film Festival and how people that attend the fest love films

  • What is the plan for distribution

  • I ask Jake my true or false question…is it true that Michael makes you watch Superbad and Arrested Development when they were not filing. Michael’s reaction is great.

  • What do they have coming up

  • I ask if Edgar has made Michael train for Scott Pilgrim

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