Michael Cera: From geek to bad guy

Canadian-born actor Michael Cera became known for playing sweet, nerdy characters in films like Superbad and Juno. But in recent weeks he has been back onscreen in a series of darker roles – and he has been getting good reviews. Talking Movies’ Tom Brook went to meet him.

Twenty-five-year old Michael Cera found fame in the TV show Arrested Development, moving to the big screen with roles in Juno, Superbad and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. His characters were diffident, geeky and loveable – but sometimes lacking in complexity and depth.

Recent films have seen Cera take on the roles of an unpleasant cokehead (This is the End) and an irritating American drug tourist on the hunt for a hallucinogenic cactus (Jamie). And in the psychological thriller Magic Magic, he plays a character with a definite mean streak.

With his latest big screen work he’s proved he’s an actor of considerable range and depth who can ably tackle complex roles – not just the sweet, unthreatening parts of his earlier career.

He tells Tom Brook about his transformation – and why he’s more comfortable making independent films than Hollywood blockbusters.

If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Culture, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.