You've moved from roles to lead parts this year - are you making a conscious effort to move into those parts or did it just happen?
"It's weird, it seems like this is by design but I promise you this is the past three or four years of work somehow coming to fruition within six months of each other. It's strange because for every American movie I've done, I've done an equal number of movies back home in Canada and I was the lead in most of those - I don't mean to sound like a pr*ck but for me it was just a matter of time. More than anything the only ambition I have is to be in s**t I would pay money to see and stuff I'm going to enjoy doing while I'm doing it. On a movie like this where it's shot for half a year of 70-hour weeks I've got to feasibly see myself enjoying being there. Mercifully, I've been able to do that and I have a résumé that pretty much reflects my interests and my tastes."
How was working with Nic Cage?
"Oh my God, man, you can't help but become a better actor for it. You and me are of the same generation, so we grew up watching him and he was one of the most distinct, unique cadences and personalities in movies. I remember sneaking into Con Air when I was 15 and here I am not only acting with him but in conversation with him. It spurred me on and made me want to be better than I've ever been."
"Oh, 100 per cent. I guess it would maybe make more of an impact to someone else who wasn't as eccentric as he is but I'm every bit as odd as he is so I think we were made for each other in that respect. Most of our conversations off-set, very few of them had to do with the f**king movie! It was always about World War II or pyramids in Egypt or Skinny Puppy or all sorts of random nerd talk."
He says you have a 'jazz style' of acting - do you know what that means?
"Yeah - that's his term. I think he and I subscribe to the same school of acting and what he means by that is we're not afraid to explore and find our own way and riff our way through things. Don't infer anything about the quality of the script from that. The script is always the jumping off point, but sometimes if you've got two creative people together and they're doing something, they will get inspired and the spark will ignite and take us some other way. Very few times were two takes the same from either of us."
How important was it to do justice to the Fantasia sequence?
"You have no idea how stressful that was! There's not one more iconic character in pop culture across the world than Mickey Mouse. He takes the cake. I'm paying homage and referencing that. Best case scenario I would do just that while looking for moments to do my own thing. Worst case scenario I blow it and not only do I mess this up but I tarnish Fantasia which is one of the most beloved sequences in film history! I just approached it with this religious reverence and trod as lightly as I could."
Did you learn any magic to help prepare yourself?
"No, but it was a lifetime of playing Street Fighter 2 - I was just doing a hadouken! I've wanted to have psychokinesis and shoot energy out of my hands my entire life! I've been groomed for this since I was a kid."
Did you see the Street Fighter film?
"With Van Damme? It was Raul Julia's last movie. Yeah, I saw that movie in the theatre. When I saw it when I was twelve I thought it was the greatest movie I'd ever seen! Upon re-watching I don't think it's that. It's not the greatest movie I've ever seen but it's definitely f**king fun as hell. Mortal Kombat's better though."
"I saw that in the theatre too - it's another one of those movies where when I was a kid I was like 'This is awesome!' Then I watched it recently and I was like, 'This movie kind of blows.'"
You're making a film based on your web short, Jay And Seth Vs. The Apocalypse, what's the status of that?
"Yeah, me and him and Evan [Goldberg] are writing it right now and I think we'll be shooting it next year."
Is Seth directing it?
"I think that's something he wants to do, it remains to be seen. I think that's something he's thinking of. There's other people, who are pretty incredible and pretty special, out of respect I won't mention them but there's people that have told us that if we want them to be involved they'll be involved. Pretty, pretty awesome people. Either way we'll get to make the thing and either way it'll be f**king awesome."
Is your relationship like that in real life? Do you argue like that?
"Oh yeah! I lived with him for so long and you develop a strange rapport, a shorthand. We talk a bunch of s**t to each other."
Will you encounter anyone else or will it just be the pair of you for the entire film?
"I wish I could tell you. There's something really, really cool... there's a star over here who's probably going to be in it with us. I'll say also the one thing I want to do, the recurring gag I want in the movie, is corpse cameos - mega-stars to be corpses. I want to be running and trip over a body and go, 'F**k, Will Smith is dead! No, they got Beckham!' That's my contribution! If we get to make the movie we've been talking about, it'll be one of the more polarising, offensive movies of the last decade."
The Sorcerer's Apprentice opens in UK cinemas on Wednesday.