Michael Cera Remembers Rihanna's 'This Is the End' Slap Scene: "I Thought It Would Look a Lot Better If She Hit Me"

He also talks 'Barbie,' 'Black Mirror' and the 'Scott Pilgrim the Anime'

Photos: Eva Rinaldi (left), Liam Mendes (right)

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jun 19, 2023

A brief cameo by Michael Cera in Season 6 of Black Mirror sees him get slapped by Salma Hayek, and to prepare him for such a role, he has Rihanna to thank.

A new Rolling Stone interview with Cera notes that, while the moment the Canadian catches Hayek's hand in Black Mirror was fake, Rihanna's wind-up in 2013's This Is the End — the directorial debut of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg — was very real.

This Is the End finds its comedic cast playing exaggerated versions of themselves, and at a house party in the film's earlygoing, Cera eschews the awkwardness that made him a star of Arrested Development, SuperbadJuno and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World to act as an out of control party animal. You can revisit the slap scene below.

As it turns out, it was Cera who understood that "no pain, no gain" could apply to this particular scene, explaining to Rolling Stone that the story of himself and the pop star agreeing to actually slap one another because "the takes weren't working" is "slightly revised."

"I don't think the takes weren't working," Cera recalled. "I thought it would look a lot better if she hit me. I don't think it took much convincing to get her to do it. I just thought it would look a lot better than a fake slap would because you can really feel it. It just looks a lot funnier!"

Cera confirmed there were multiple takes of the act, and the one that made the final cut left him a little roughed up: "I definitely did not regret it! I was into it. The take that is in the movie, she really did hit my ear, which was disorienting. But I have no regrets. I didn't lose any hearing over it, fortunately!"

Rogen had previously shared upon This Is the End's 2013 release, "We did maybe three or four [takes] and [Cera] asked [Rihanna] if he could actually slap her butt, and she said he could if she could actually slap him back in the face, which she did. And I think one of the times she got him in the ear and it whacked off his equilibrium and he had to go lie down in his trailer for a little bit."

Cera also revealed to Rolling Stone that, for the upcoming Barbie film, he and his castmates required full-body makeup for the shoot. He also shared some details on his involvement in Netflix's Scott Pilgrim anime with the original cast.

"It's very cool that we get to make more of it," he shared. "I've never had the experience of being able to make a new version of something with the same people like this. It's very uncanny. It's a very strange experience! It's nice that people still care enough to bring it up, watch it, and enjoy it. That seems like a great success. I think it's gonna be so funny. I've had so much fun recording it and hearing what other people are doing. There have been a couple of songs. … I kind of don't fully know what to expect other than it's going to be really funny."

Earlier this month, it was reported that Cera will star in Wes Anderson's forthcoming 13th film.

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