That Time Michael Cera Got A Concussion While Filming Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) holds up a drawing in 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World'

Some will tell you that art is pain, and that was definitely true for Michael Cera, who went through the ringer while filming his fight scenes for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The actor really committed to the role, and that meant suffering some injuries -- including, apparently, a concussion from a scene with Chris Evans.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World wasn’t a huge hit with audiences or critics when it was released in 2010. In the ensuing decade though, it’s become somewhat of a cult classic. Edgar Wright’s adaptation of Brian Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel series works as a coming-of-age comedy of errors.

In addition to starring a post-Juno Michael Cera, Scott Pilgrim features a ton of yet-to-be-uber-famous actors, including Anna Kendrick, Brie Larson, and a pre-Captain America Chris Evans.

In one of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’s most memorable scenes, Chris Evans plays A-list actor, skateboarder, and all around jerk Lucas Lee, one of the seven evil exes that the titular hero must defeat in order to date Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Ramona Flowers. The scene is as ridiculous as the rest of the movie but, apparently, what we see on screen is nothing compared to the hell Michael Cera went through to get the footage they needed for the final cut. He told Entertainment Weekly that the stunts in that scene, in particular, were brutal:

It was freezing when we were shooting that fight with Chris Evans all through the night. There was this moment where I get hit over the head with a skateboard, which was supposed to explode on impact. They build this skateboard out of balsa wood; I’m wearing a helmet under my hat. But this thing would not break. We did, like, five takes of me just getting hit over the head full force in an effort to make [it] explode. I felt myself getting a concussion. After five takes of that, I said to Edgar, 'I don’t think I can do this anymore.' They did it with a CG effect in the end.

All that, and his hard work and brain damage didn’t even make it on screen. It turns out that making the myriad fight sequences in Scott Pilgrim work was no easy feat. In EW’s oral history of the movie, it’s revealed that many of the actors, including Michael Cera, worked with a stunt coordinator to make sure they were camera-ready, and found they were a bit in over their heads.

It all came together in the end, though. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World may not be the most intense action movie ever made, but it’s still found a way to endear itself to fans all over the world. You can see the scene for yourself -- it’s currently streaming on Netflix.

Katherine Webb