Talk about kicking it old school. Jack Black and Michael Cera go back -- way back -- as hare-brained hunter and gatherer, respectively, in the new comedy 'Year One.'
In an exclusive interview, the duo waxed comically on everything from improv to potty humor, bad breath to great hair, bromantic non-comedies to possible roles in 'Ghostbusters III.' Talk about kicking it old school. Jack Black and Michael Cera go back -- way back -- as hare-brained hunter and gatherer, respectively, in the new comedy 'Year One.'
A sort of primitive buddy comedy, the movie finds the reliably zany Black and understated Cera on historical misadventures, mixing it up with the likes of Cain, Abel, Isaac and Abraham.
In an exclusive interview, the duo waxed comically on everything from improv to potty humor, bad breath to great hair, bromantic non-comedies to possible roles in 'Ghostbusters III.'
You obviously couldn't follow cavemen around to prepare for this role ... so who did you follow around?
Michael Cera: Well the answer to that is simple. Nobody. I didn't follow anyone around, I just drove around L.A. and did some deep thinking, and then spoke on the phone with [director Harold Ramis], and then next thing I knew we were shooting.
Jack Black: I guess it was De Niro who started the whole "follow people around before you do the movie." And I'd never done that. I mean, I tried a little bit and it doesn't work for me, it's not my thing.
What was your least favorite part about working with each other?
Black: My least favorite thing about Michael Cera? He is just a pompous ass. Thinks he's so f***ing great ... and his breath.
Cera: Well, I was going to say, saying goodbye. I think I need to rethink that. But check his breath, too. It's disgusting to me.
What was your favorite thing about working with each other?
Cera: His breath [laughs]. It was fun, the fun of it, I love fun. I have a soft spot for fun, and Jack's a lot of fun.
Black: My favorite thing about working with Michael, just the talent. Just watching another actor do his thing. Very funny. Coming up with funny lines on the fly. Making me giggle and laugh. The same thing that I like about watching Michael's movies or television shows is the same thing I liked about working with him. I'm watching in the wings as a fan ... It's pretty obvious. Good guy. And I get a little bit extra, because I get to watch him in between takes working it up, thinking about it, talking about it, getting some direction, laughing it up.
How much improv did you guys get to do on the movie?
Cera: If we improvised it would just have been, you know, little jokes or just kind of straying from dialogue. But it wasn't improv, it wasn't like a Christopher Guest movie where you have the direction to go in and you just get there. It was very formally scripted with distinct jokes and beats so we didn't stray too much from it.
Black: Yeah, it was all there. But I would say 5 percent improv.
Is 'Year One' a bromance?
Black: This is not a bromance, in my opinion. Classic bromance, recently, 'I Love You, Man.' It's a buddy comedy where the central theme is male sensitivity. If your main thing in the movie is not male sensitivity, if that's not the thrust of the whole comedy, then it's not a bromance.
Cera: It doesn't even have to be comedy, does it? A bromance?
Black: What was that Keanu Reeves one, where he ...
Cera: 'Bill and Ted.'
Black: [Laughs] No. 'Point Break.' 'Point Break' was a bromance.
You guys have pretty amazing 'dos in the movie. Were you tempted to keep the hairstyles?
Cera: No, because it was so much trouble, too much trouble. Wine, food, all those [things get in your hair]. At lunch you always had to have it tied back, but there were always a few strands escaping.
Black: You can't keep a wig on. But growing it to be like that? It takes me years to get real length, and I don't have that kind of time, because the time between long and not, there's like a year of awkwardness. You don't really want to go through that year. What are you going to do, wear a hat the whole time? Nah. And what's the reward when you get to that long?
Cera: You have a nice haircut.
Did either of you lobby Harold Ramis for a role in 'Ghostbusters III'? Could you see yourselves as Ghostbusters?
Cera: No. I don't think so. 'Ghostbusters' is too important for me to try and be one. I would feel like a phony. I would feel like an impostor.
Black: Could I see myself in it? Yeah, I can bust some ghosts! I ain't afraid of no ghosts! Buster. [Laughs]
Michael, is there any more scoop on the 'Arrested Development' movie?
Cera: There's nothing new.
Black: There's a real development in the works.
Cera: Yeah, I think [creator Mitchell Hurwitz] is going to write it, but until then there's not really any news.
And what's the word on 'School of Rock 2'? That was greenlit last year.
Cera: Um, it's definitely happening.
Black: [Laughs] Yeah, there's development. We'll see. I don't know. I'm a little hesitant about doing a sequel. I had fun doing the first one, just don't want to do something just to do something because it's there. I want to do it because it's going to be really funny or better than the first one.
So you're still deciding whether you're going to do it?
Black: Yeah, it's not quite there yet.
'Year One' was reportedly toned down from an R-rating to PG-13. Does that matter to you guys?
Cera: No, not to me. As long as it's funny.
Black: No. The only thing that's disappointing is if I see it, I haven't seen the latest cut, and I go, "What happened to the ..? Oh, f***, really?"
Jack, is this the first time you've eaten s*** in a movie?
Black: Yes. It's my first Divine moment. It was good. It felt pretty magical.
And Michael, is the first time you've urinated on your own head for a film?
Cera: Mmmhmm. It was a little bit stressful. I was upside down and it was a bit problematic. That "pee" was apple juice, so it burned my eyes actually, because it was really sweet. And it went up my nostril. I couldn't breathe.
Black: You don't want to snort apple juice. That's the problem.
If you guys could live during any time throughout the course of history, when would it be?
Black: My favorite time in history ... the Renaissance.
Cera: I would say ... the '30s. The 1930s.
Black: The '30s? Wait, isn't that the Depression?
Cera: Like '33, that was a great age.
Black: Come on, the Renaissance! Haven't you ever been to the Renaissance fair? Don't you wish that was real life? A little mead, a little roast ...