Jonah Hill and Micheal Cera were the stars of Superbad, but when most people think of the movie, they think of McLovin, the scene-stealing character played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
Thanks to Christopher Mintz-Plasse, the character of McLovin has become iconic, but if Jonah Hill had his way, Mintz-Plasse wouldn’t have played the character at all. Vanity Fair recently published a highly entertaining oral history of the production of Superbad, part of which explores just how hard it was to cast McLovin. Superbad co-writer Evan Goldberg said, “It became very evident that there were no actors who were right for the role.” As the production began searching Southern California high schools, Christopher Mintz-Plasse went with his friends to an open audition. To his surprise, he got a callback and later read with Micheal Cera and Jonah Hill. Director Greg Mottola said, “[Chris] played it like he was clearly the coolest guy in the room and everyone else was a nerd and a loser. He was Dean Martin instead of Jerry Lewis.” This wound up annoying Jonah Hill quite a bit.
Judd Apatow: In the audition, he was very caustic and attacked Jonah and did improvs insulting Jonah.
Seth Rogen: Jonah immediately hated him. He was like, ‘That was f***ing with my rhythm. I couldn’t perform with that guy.’
Judd Apatow: Jonah said, ‘I don’t like that guy. I don’t want him doing it.’ And I said, “That’s exactly why we’re hiring him. It couldn’t be more perfect. The fact that it bothers you is exactly what we want.’”
Jonah Hill admitted that “Chris was really, really amazing off the bat. And I think he was really annoying to me at that time.” Thankfully, the cast gelled together, and the result was comedy gold. Superbad is still regarded as one of the most comedies of the 2000s, and the cast has resisted calls for a sequel. Jonah Hill has previously mentioned one idea for a sequel, but it would take a few decades before they could film it. “I haven’t pitched this to anybody,” Hill said. “What I want to do is when we’re like 80, do a Superbad 2. Like, ‘old-folks-home Superbad.’ Our spouses die, and we’re single again. That’s what I want Superbad 2 to be, and that’s the only way I would ever make it.“