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Way Back When: Michael Cera

Michael Cera
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He launched his career playing the charmingly naive George Michael on ‘Arrested Development‘ and has been making us laugh with roles in ‘Superbad‘ and ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.’ In today’s Way Back When, we take a look at Michael Cera before he was famous.

Pillsbury Cookie Commercials

When Michael Cera was a little kid, he starred in this commercial for Pillsbury cookie dough alongside the Pillsbury Doughboy. In it, we learn why it’s not a good idea to take all your cookie dough and mush it up into one giant cookie dough ball — because a giant cookie monster will arise to claim the soul of the Doughboy and give you diabetes, or something.

In this next one, Cera gets the best acting gig in the world: lie on a couch and pretend to sleep while Santa hangs out with the Pillsbury Doughboy and leaves you presents. Oh, and there’s a plate of cookies. Sleep, presents and cookies? Amazing.

‘I Was a Sixth Grade Alien’

What is this hair about?! Who would do this to Michael Cera’s adorable mop? Cera’s first real role was on this Canadian/Australian/British (it’s all the same?) TV show about an alien with purple skin who has an antenna on his head and is struggling to survive the sixth grade. Cera played this weirdo:

‘Switching Goals’

In 1999, Cera starred with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in their TV movie ‘Switching Goals.’ And since it’s an Olsen twins movie, the plot revolves around scheming twin sisters who are trying to trade places — this time around, they want to switch soccer teams. Cera plays a snot-nosed little jerk named Taylor who makes us want to cry for this poor shoe salesman:

‘Frequency’

Cera next starred in ‘Frequency,’ the 2000 movie about a guy (Jim Caviezel, whom you may know as “Jesus”) who discovers an old radio that allows him to communicate with his dead father from 30 years ago. Cera plays the son of Noah Emmerich’s character:

‘My Louisiana Sky’

Remember that movie ‘The Other Sister,’ where Juliette Lewis played a mentally challenged woman? So this is that, but in reverse. Juliette Lewis plays the daughter of two mentally challenged people, which might explain why there’s a female character named “Tiger,” but Michael Cera sounds like he’s screaming “Tagger!” Anyway, we’re kind of impressed with young Cera’s Southern accent in the clip below, but not so much with his kissing skills:

‘Walter and Henry’

In this 2001 TV movie about the son of a street musician, Michael Cera’s role is credited as “Crying Kid.” It may be a tiny part, but we’re starting to believe he’s way more talented than most people give him credit for:

next: see nick offerman before he was famous

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