Vanity Fair celebrated the 15th anniversary of “Superbad” with a brand new oral history of the R-rated comedy blockbuster, which includes the revelation that Jonah Hill “immediately hated” Christopher Mintz-Plasse after their audition together. Hill was already cast in the film and was reading scenes opposite actors auditioning to play Fogell (aka McLovin). That’s when Mintz-Plasse came in the room for a third callback.
“Chris was really, really amazing off the bat. And I think he was really annoying to me at that time,” Hill said.
Producer Judd Apatow remembered the audition more vividly, saying Mintz-Plasse was “very caustic and attacked Jonah and did improvs insulting Jonah.”
“He played it like he was clearly the coolest guy in the room and everyone else was a nerd and a loser,” director Greg Mottola said of Mintz-Plasse’s audition. “He was Dean Martin instead of Jerry Lewis.”
“Jonah immediately hated him,” remembered Seth Rogen, who co-wrote and starred in the film. “He was like, ‘That was fucking with my rhythm. I couldn’t perform with that guy.’”
Apatow added, “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.’”
Mintz-Plasse was ultimately cast as McLovin opposite Hill as Seth and Michael Cera as Evan, and the three’s chemistry would go a long way into making “Superbad” one of the most beloved high school comedies ever made. Despite the film’s critical acclaim and $170 million worldwide gross, a sequel never got off the ground, despite Apatow’s best wishes.
“Everyone was like, ‘Nah we don’t want to screw up ‘Superbad’ by accidentally making a crappy second one,’” Apatow said earlier this year on the “Inside of You With Michael Rosenbaum” podcast. “And I would always say the same thing, ‘Well, that’s like saying don’t make the second episode of the ‘The Sopranos.’ Like, so why do you think we would screw up the second one?’”
“I always wanted them to do a sequel to ‘Superbad,’” Apatow said earlier in the interview. “I know that Jonah [Hill] said, ‘Oh it’ll be funny to do it when we’re 70 or 80,’ but I really wanted them to do a ‘Superbad’ in college where Jonah flunks out of college and just shows up and visits Michael Cera at college.”
Mintz-Plasse said in 2021 that a “Superbad” sequel would not be a bad idea, but he stressed that “[a female version] would be the way, for sure.”