Bill Hader Talks MacGruber: The Movie, Denies Michael Cera’s Breakup Rumors

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Photo: Patrick McMullan

Like many of you, we're still reeling from the awful news that Charlene Yi and Michael Cera, who made a fake documentary, Paper Heart, about the fake beginning of their allegedly real three-year relationship, have reportedly ended their relationship. What's more, in the movie Yi plays someone who doesn't believe in love but is eventually swayed by Cera — who has just reportedly dumped her! And now she must go on a publicity tour without him to talk about the film. Awkward! So, naturally, when we heard that Gen Art and Three-O Vodka were hosting a special screening last week, we went to get some answers. Except at the after-party in Aspen, Yi holed up in a corner and refused to talk to press. And the film's publicist answered all our questions with cryptic silence, finally saying, "She says they're just friends," before shutting up entirely. Desperate, we turned to the amazing Bill Hader, who isn't even in the movie but has been friends since he was 19 with director Nick Jasenovec. Hader kindly stood on the sidewalk outside the club with his friend Jake M. Johnson, an L.A. improv actor who plays Jasenovec in the movie, and gave us some very surprising answers indeed.

We've been trying in vain to sum up this movie in a sentence. Can you?
When Nick told me what the movie was about, I remember the phone call. I was like, "What is the movie?" And he's like, "Well, it's a documentary about Charlene trying to find out about the meaning of love." And I was like, "Sweet!" and then he's like, "And then it's kind of about Michael. And Jake's going to play me. And it's a documentary about Michael, and outside of the documentary, Nick goes, "FUCK, lemme start over." And then he would start over again and get a little further and go, "Fuck, lemme start over again."

Did she and Michael have a real relationship?
No.

Then why are there all these articles about how they went out for three years and now they've broken up?
That's some crazy person going [Starts miming finger-typing on computer with crazy, puzzled look on face] ... That's someone going, "Eh, I've got to write something today. Arururuurruurrrfaaaa. How about this?" I thought that was very funny that people were like, "Yeah, they really broke up." Uh, yeah, and they really went out, too. It's not unfounded to say that. It's just kind of funny.

Have you ever done a bit during an interview and had it reported as fact?
Michael and I tried to do a bit about Gilligan's Island when we were at Sundance. He was there for this movie and I was there for Adventureland. I was in an interview, and someone said, "Now Michael Cera says that he is going to be playing Gilligan in Gilligan's Island and that you might be in it." And the minute they said that, I thought, "Oh, okay Michael, you just passed this to me?" And I was like, "Yeah, yeah, you know, I'm hoping to play the Skipper, or really just any part." And this guy was really like, "Wow! So what's it going to be like?" And I was like, "Well, it's going to be really violent. That whole shipwreck scene is going to be like Paul Greengrass directing Castaway." I was like, "It's just gonna be REAL. You're in the boat. It's just ... no music ... just fucking visceral, like, Bloody Sunday. Paul Greengrass! Not like fucking Bourne movies. Just like fucking ... It's going to be crazy."

Did you come up with a plotline for the Skipper?
No. By the time I started saying that, I could tell the guy was thinking, "Fuck you, Michael Cera." The other thing I did was for the Hot Rod DVD – I did a British accent the whole time just because we were shooting late and I was trying to make Danny McBride laugh. And now I have people coming up to me going [Adopts a British accent], "Hey, where are you from?"

Okay, now I have to ask about MacGruber. How is that going to work as a movie?
I read the script, and it's like a hard-R comedy, and it totally works. It's hilarious. It's kind of in the vein of, like, eighties action movies, like there's a very definitive bad guy. I don't know if I can talk about the plot too much, but it's hilarious. The thing that kind of blew my mind about it is that it's like a HARD-R movie. I was like, "What is this? This is fucking ugly. You guys are really going to do this?" And they're like, "Yup." And I was like, "That is awesome. That is fucking hilarious."

Aren't the sketches, like, 30 seconds long? How do you make that a movie?
It's a really funny character. I don't think that's a stretch.

But doesn't everybody die at the end of every sketch?
No, they just blow up. They don't necessarily die, because they keep being in more sketches.

Is it all explosions?
I'm not allowed to say!

What else are you doing on your SNL hiatus?
Trying to be in New York with my wife [Maggie, who is expecting a baby in September] as much as possible.

How's that going?
It's awesome. Doing a lot of waking up and going out to grab ice cream late at night.

Does she have mood swings?
No, my wife is the sweetest, most even-keeled person ever. A mood swing to her is like, "Oh, I'm uncomfortable." Know what I mean? She's like, "Honey, I'm uncomfortable," and I'm like, "Whoa! Fucking Maggie just yelled at me!"

Will your kid have a weird name, like Six-Pack or Bronx?
I'm naming him Lorne.