Michael Cera Candidly Recalls Downsides of Young Fame: 'There's A Lot of Bad Energies'

The 'Superbad' alum says fame 'makes you paranoid and weird.'

Not everyone knows what it's like to be a star before you're old enough to order a beer -- but Michael Cera does. 

The longtime actor has nearly grown up on screen, starring in Arrested Development at 15 and becoming a hallmark of the coming-of-age category through hits like Superbad and Juno by 19. But, as Cera candidly recalls in a new interview with The Guardian, being a recognizable teen has its downsides.

"I didn’t know how to handle walking down the street. Fame makes you very uncomfortable in your own skin, and makes you paranoid and weird," he says. "There were lots of great things about it, and I met a lot of amazing people, but there’s a lot of bad energies, too, ones that I was not equipped to handle."

The Barbie star, now 35 and a new dad, cites drunk people as a "classic example" of such energies at a time when he did not know "how to respectfully establish my own boundaries."

"If people are drunk, and they recognize you, and they’re very enthusiastic, but it can be kind of toxic too," he explains. "When you’re a kid, people also feel they can kind of grab you – they’re not that respectful of you or your physical space." 

Eventually, Cera took action to turn down the wattage on his fame. 

"There was a point where I wanted to stop taking jobs that would make me more famous," he admits, among those being hosting Saturday Night Live. "I was kind of having a bit of a crisis… I was really not enjoying the level of heat."

It sounds like Cera has since figured out the career he actually wants. "I knew that it wasn’t just like constantly fanning the flames to get bigger and bigger. I knew that wasn’t really my goal," he shares. "I think I wanted to be a working actor who can enjoy my day-to-day life, and the world that I’ve created for myself. I think that was the overall thing I was trying to figure out."