Michael Cera Has A ‘Big Takeaway’ After Working With Samuel L. Jackson On Paws Of Fury

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is a new animated film loosely adapted from Mel Brooks’ classic comedy Blazing Saddles. Among the impressive list of voice talent featured in the film is Michael Cera and Samuel L. Jackson, who worked together for the first time on this movie. In fact, Cera told us that Jackson was the only member of the cast who he had the privilege of recording with in-person, and he had a big takeaway from his experience with the iconic actor.

Samuel L. Jackson’s Jimbo is a mentor to Michael Cera’s Hank in the film, teaching him how to be a samurai. It makes sense that the two would be paired up in real life in order to nail the dynamic of their animated counterparts, and when we asked about it, Cera told us this:

There was one day that I got to record with Samuel L. Jackson, and that's the only person from the cast that I got to work with on this movie. But that was, you know, amazingly exciting for me just to get to work with him and be in the room with him. It was really just one short afternoon, but it was fantastic and it was fascinating to be around him and watch him work. And a big takeaway was just how incredibly relaxed and playful and inventive he was. I mean, he's just a really amazing actor.

Well, no surprises there! Samuel L. Jackson is notoriously humble and playful. After all, Jackson never even grew up thinking he could be an actor. Also, you can tell by the Paws of Fury trailer alone that he had a great time filming, and was able to get pretty goofy with it. Remember, it is an animated kid’s film produced by Nickelodeon, and the premise is pretty ridiculous. 

As previously mentioned, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is a loose adaptation of Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles, and even stars Brooks himself in a rather prominent role. At the age of 96, the actor and writer is still funny as ever. The film’s original title was even Blazing Samurai, though that may have been a little too on the nose.

In the film's universe, samurais are typically cats, which is unfortunate for Hank, who is a dog that dreams of becoming a samurai. Absurdity and a ton of fourth-wall breaking ensues as he sets out on a quest to be the first dog-samurai. You can check out our official review of Paws of Fury, as well as a general critical roundup of the animated movie.

Just like the rest of the cast of Superbad, Michael Cera has been working quite a bit, having just starred in the amazing Hulu series Life & Beth with Amy Schumer. As for Samuel L. Jackson, well, he’s known for being in just about everything, but just recently he’s getting rave reviews for his performance in The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey on Apple TV+. 

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank also features the vocal talents of Ricky Gervais, George Takei, and Gabriel Iglesias, among others. Hearing all of that comedic talent spar with the legendary Mel Brooks is worth the price of admission alone. As for everything else that’s coming to theaters in 2022, you can check out our handy release schedule!

Jeff McCobb
Senior Video Producer

Jeff started his career producing television commercials in his hometown of Fresno, California. After a few years, he came across the opportunity to make a living talking about his favorite thing: movies. Jeff is a film buff who is full of gratitude that he gets to spout opinions about them for a living. He currently resides in Los Angeles, where he spends his time complaining about Los Angeles.