Michael Cera reached out to Greta Gerwig via email to ask if he could play Allan in her Barbie movie.
In a career retrospective video for GQ, the Juno actor revealed that he got in touch with the Barbie co-writer and director after his manager implied that he might not be interested in the project.
"My manager got a call checking on my availability for it, and he called me and he said, 'I got a call about this movie. It's the Barbie movie. Greta Gerwig's directing it, and it's filming in London for four months of something, so I told them you probably wouldn't want to to do it because you probably don't want to go to London,'" he recalled.
"I was like, 'What! Call them back!' He didn't like blow it or anything, but he's like, 'I managed their expectations that you might not want to do it.' I was like, 'How can I not do it? I need to do it!'"
The Arrested Development actor got Gerwig's email from a mutual friend and made it clear to her that he really wanted to play Allan.
"I emailed her like, 'Can I be in it? Can I do that part?'" Cera said. "And she was like, 'Let's get on a Zoom right now. Here's a Zoom link, I'll be on there for the next hour.' So she was just hanging out on the Zoom, she's like, 'Click the link whenever you're ready.' And then we talked about it, and it just all happened really fast from there."
The 35-year-old admitted he was cast as Allan, the "sad" companion of Ken, at the "very last minute".
Barbie has made over $1 billion (£786 million) at the worldwide box office and is now Warner Bros.' highest-grossing movie ever in North America. Gerwig is also the highest-grossing female director of all time in her home country.