The Real Deal Behind Michael Cera’s Memorable Slap from “This Is the End”

The Real Deal Behind Michael Cera’s Memorable Slap from “This Is the End”

  • By Movie Moments
  • Nov 03
Two people staring

Michael Cera Really Got Slapped

Michael Cera’s character in “This Is the End” might have been a put-on, but that slap he got was no act.


In the 2013 comedy, Cera, who’s now 35, played a fictionalized version of himself – a version that was, rude and hooked on cocaine, creating some beef, even with Rihanna.


In one scene at a star-studded house party early in the movie, Cera’s character playfully smacks Rihanna on the butt, and she responds with a slap right to his face.


Cera shared his thoughts on this with GQ, saying, “Yeah, she definitely hit me.” He explained, “But I kind of wanted that, you know?”


He went on, “I thought it would be way funnier and more believable. Fake slaps just don’t cut it.”


Rihanna didn’t pull her punch. According to Cera, she hit him “hard.” He told GQ, “She really sent me flying, and honestly, it was pretty cool. Now that moment of pain is forever caught on film.”


Seth Rogen, one of the film’s co-directors and costars, talked about the very real slap-off between Cera and Rihanna on Sway’s Universe shortly after “This Is the End” hit theaters in 2013.


“In the script, Michael Cera slaps Rihanna’s behind, and she doesn’t hit him back,” Rogen told host Sway Calloway at the time.

Rogen continued, “She hit his ear so hard that it messed up his balance, and he had to go rest in his trailer for like half an hour.”

“That’s the take we used in the movie. No extra sound effects or anything,” Rogen added, mentioning that Cera might’ve been concussed.


Back in 2013, Cera shared in an interview with Rolling Stone that he “encouraged” Rihanna to slap him back during that scene.

“Yeah, she hit me pretty hard,” he told the magazine. “But it was like what a real hard hit feels like.”


He went on, “I kind of pushed her to do it. I wanted her to give me a good one.”

More recently, Cera opened up about how he wasn’t too thrilled with all the attention that his early roles in “Superbad” and “Juno” brought him in 2007. He told The Guardian that after those films, he struggled with the newfound fame and didn’t really know how to handle it.

“Fame messes with your comfort in your own skin and makes you feel weird and paranoid,” he explained. “Sure, there were great things about it, and I met some incredible people, but there were also a lot of negative vibes that I wasn’t equipped to deal with.”


On the slap topic, Rogen recounted that Cera straight-up asked Rihanna if he could actually slap her butt. Her response? “You can slap my butt for real if I can slap your face for real.” And that was a deal for Cera.


They went through the scene “three or four times,” Rogen said, and on the fourth take, Rihanna just went all out and “smacked the heck” out of Cera.


Cera also admitted that he turned down some gigs – like hosting “Saturday Night Live” – because he was going through a personal “crisis.”


“I wasn’t enjoying the attention,” he said. “I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to keep acting.”

 and some of Michael Cera’s feelings on the roller coaster of fame.

Why Michael Cera is Hilarious

Michael Cera is not your typical comedian. He doesn't rely on raunchy jokes, slapstick humor, or outrageous antics to make you laugh. Instead, he possesses a unique brand of humor that is both understated and endearing. While some might argue that his comedy is an acquired taste, there's no denying that Michael Cera is, in his own right, hilariously funny. Here's why:


1. Deadpan Delivery: Cera's deadpan delivery is one of his signature comedic techniques. He often delivers lines with a straight face, making it appear as though he's completely serious. This deliberate contrast between his nonchalant delivery and the absurdity of the situations he finds himself in creates a perfect recipe for laughter. It's a style of humor that doesn't rely on overacting but rather on timing and subtlety.


2. Awkwardness Personified: Michael Cera has mastered the art of portraying awkwardness on screen. Whether it's as George Michael Bluth in "Arrested Development" or as the titular character in "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," Cera excels at embodying socially awkward and bumbling characters. His ability to tap into the universal experience of feeling uncomfortable in social situations makes him relatable and, consequently, funny.


3. Self-Deprecation: Cera doesn't take himself too seriously. He's not afraid to make fun of himself or his own public image. This self-deprecating humor is endearing and disarming. It allows the audience to feel like they're in on the joke with him. Cera's willingness to poke fun at his own quirks and persona is a key ingredient in his comedic charm.


4. Subtle Wit: Cera's humor often comes in the form of witty one-liners or clever wordplay. It's not in your face, but it's the kind of humor that sneaks up on you, leaving you chuckling long after the joke has been delivered. His ability to find humor in the mundane and everyday situations showcases his keen observational skills.


5. Versatility: While Cera is best known for his comedic roles, he has showcased his versatility as an actor by taking on more serious and dramatic roles as well. This range allows him to bring a depth to his comedic characters, making them feel more authentic and relatable. It's this ability to balance humor with depth that sets him apart.


6. Timing: Comedy is all about timing, and Cera has an innate sense of it. His impeccable timing when it comes to delivering lines or reacting to absurd situations is what makes his humor land so effectively. It's a skill that can't be taught but is essential for effective comedy.


7. Natural Quirkiness: Michael Cera's natural quirkiness adds an extra layer of charm to his comedy. He doesn't conform to the traditional leading man archetype, and that's precisely what makes him so relatable and hilarious. His quirks become endearing rather than off-putting.


8. Embracing Unpredictability: Cera's comedic roles often involve unexpected and unpredictable situations. He doesn't rely on tried-and-true comedic formulas but instead dives headfirst into the unknown. This willingness to embrace unpredictability and adapt to the absurdity of a scene is what keeps his comedy fresh and exciting.


9. Chemistry with Co-Stars: Cera's ability to play off his co-stars and build on their comedic energy is remarkable. Whether it's his interactions with Jonah Hill in "Superbad" or his banter with the ensemble cast in "This Is the End," Cera's chemistry with others enhances the humor in a scene.


In conclusion, Michael Cera's hilarity lies in his unconventional approach to comedy. His deadpan delivery, masterful portrayal of awkwardness, self-deprecating humor, subtle wit, versatility, impeccable timing, natural quirkiness, willingness to embrace unpredictability, and his chemistry with co-stars all contribute to his unique comedic charm. He's not your typical comedian, but that's precisely why his humor is so refreshing and, in its own quiet way, side-splittingly funny. Cera's ability to find humor in the ordinary and make us laugh with him, not at him, is what sets him apart as a truly hilarious actor.


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