Director and co-star Seth Rogen gave his account of the events in 2013 when promoting the film on Sway in the Morning. “In the script, Michael Cera slaps Rihanna’s ass and she doesn’t hit him back in the script but he asked her ‘Can I slap your ass for real?’ and she said, ‘You can slap my ass for real if I can slap you back in the face for real,'” said Rogen.
Rogan continued, “And he was like ‘Okay!’ We did it like three or four times and on the fourth time she, like, smacked the fucking shit out of him so hard. She cupped his ear and actually whacked out his equilibrium, and he had to go lay down in his trailer for around half an hour. But that’s the take we used in the movie, we didn’t add any sound to that or anything.”
Cera recalled a different version of events in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. “I think that’s a slightly revised version. I don’t think the takes weren’t working. I thought it would look a lot better if she hit me. I don’t think it took much convincing to get her to do it. I just thought it would look a lot better than a fake slap would because you can really feel it. It just looks a lot funnier!”
He continued, “I definitely did not regret it. I was into it. That take is in the movie, she really did hit my ear, which was disorienting. But I have no regrets. I didn’t lose hearing over it, fortunately!”
Check out Michael Cera’s complete interview with GQ below.