What would you do if you came across the cell phone number of Michael Cera? Probably just hold on to it without doing anything, because you respect his privacy, right? But what would Michael Cera do if he came across a random stranger's number? If a New Yorker piece is to be believed, he would regularly stalk and then harrass that stranger via text over the course of nine months until that person had to change their number.
Cera wrote the article, titled "My Man Jeremy," in which he lays out a chain of correspondences between himself and a guy named "Jeremy" who accidentally texted the wrong number one fateful December day. At first the Superbad star tries to play anonymously in order to find out what Jeremy thinks of "Michael Cera, the actor." Then he admits who he is, Jeremy thinks that's pretty cool but it's Cera who presses the "friendship" forward, constantly asking Jeremy to hang out but doing so in obnoxiously ridiculous fashion. "What’s address? I’ll make a lotta soup and bringit!" he writes early on.
There are a few ways to read this piece, each depending on whether this is a true story, which it doesn't seem to be, or made up. If it were true, Cera shows us a bored, conceited and irritating celebrity. If it's fake, then it's also still pretty conceited. Because what is the point? Well, there's the usual self-satirizing, famous-person shtick, not unlike we see with Cera in This Is the End. Or there's the self-aware statement on how the world sees him. There's this too-obvious mention of being confused for Jesse Eisenberg, for instance:
JEREMY 1/3 8:40 PM
wer you in zombieland?
MICHAEL 1/3 8:42 PM
hi man. no. that’s jesse eisenberg
MICHAEL 1/3 8:43 PM
I also was not in adventureland
MICHAEL 1/3 8:48 PM
yeah there’s a thing called imdb
JEREMY 1/3 9:09 PM
oh dam! i thought that was you
JEREMY 1/3 9:10 PM
MICHAEL 1/3 9:12 PM
If this is all supposed to be a gag, it's a pretty extensive one, and it kinda makes Cera come across as an arrogant, self-amusing jerk (regardless of fake or real). Consider the part where Cera first sees a picture of Jeremy and texts, "whoa!!! you’re black?" If real, that's an oddly racist response no matter the meaning behind it. If fake, then there's something uncomfortable about the way Cera is writing Jeremy's lines to be "black" -- or is it more that he's meaning for them not to read like "black" and that's where the surprisement of him being black comes in? Either way there's something wrong there.
The piece reminded me of a comedy short made by It's a Disaster director Todd Berger with his Vacationeers troupe (Kevin M. Brennan, Blaise Miller and Jeff Grace) in which Julia Stiles plays herself and approaches the guys as they're just sitting in a coffee shop minding their own business and asks if they'd like her autograph because she thinks they're talking about Mona Lisa Smile. It's concise, to the point and a lot funnier. Watch the sketch titled Excuse Me below.
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