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Are Michael Cera And Alia Shawkat From Arrested Development Friends In Real Life?

One of the funniest family dynamics in "Arrested Development" is between George Michael Bluth (Michael Cera) and Maeby Fünke (Alia Shawkat). At the beginning of the series, George Michael and Maeby are teenage cousins who are part of a wealthy family who has lost their fortune and gotten into legal trouble. George Michael's father, Michael (Jason Bateman), and Maeby's mother, Lindsay Bluth Fünke (Portia de Rossi), are siblings.

The teenagers live in the same area and are close in age, so they spend a lot of time together. George Michael is an awkward, gifted child torn between his moral conscience and his love for his family, who are not always honest people. Maeby, on the other hand, is a fireball who delights in causing drama within the family, especially tormenting her mother. Still, Maeby is possibly the number one "Arrested Development" main character ranked by likability. George Michael also has a crush on Maeby, and even if this is weird, it contributes to the humorous awkwardness of their dynamic.

When two actors must pretend to like each other on screen, it certainly helps if they actually do get along and don't have to fake it. The relationship between George Michael and Maeby in "Arrested Development" feels so natural and convincing that fans may wonder if they are friends in real life.

Alia Shawkat and Michael Cera are friends in real life

It turns out that Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat were not faking their affection for each other on "Arrested Development" and are actually good friends off set. In a 2017 interview with the Guardian, Shawkat said, "I used to go to parties when I was 14 or 15 with Michael Cera ... we would just drink cranberry juice and make fun of everybody the whole time, doing pranks in the corner." In another interview in early 2022 with The New Yorker, Alia Shawkat reflected on her time playing Maeby in the series. Shawkat said, "So much of it was amazing. Michael Cera is still one of my best friends." 

Of course, a friendship is different from a romantically-fraught relationship between cousins who grew up together, so the actors still had to do their fair share of acting out for their characters' bizarre emotions. Still, it certainly helps to know each other well enough to develop on-screen chemistry, and it also helps to like each other.

Cera and Shawkat are not the only actors from the comedy series who are friends outside of work. Jason Bateman and Will Arnett from "Arrested Development" are friends in real life, as well, which likely contributes to the strength of their hilarious brotherly relationship on camera.