You may have only recently recognized him as that bad guy in “The Heat,” but Adam Ray has been a popular comedian way before making it to the big screen. Ray co-hosts the “About Last Night” podcast and has guest starred on “WORKAHOLICS” and “Arrested Development,” among others. Following the success of “The Heat”, Ray went on to snag a role in “Spy” and is co-hosting a new TBS game show called, “Separation Anxiety.” Ray speaks with us about hanging out with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, his upcoming “Ghostbusters” role and how he got the popular girl in school to laugh.
How would you describe your style of comedy?
I would describe my style of comedy as fun, conversational, relatable. I get the most joy talking about things that have actually happened to me. There’s been a couple long relationships, playing Wolverine in Universal, studying abroad, opening for the New Kids on the Block, having a little person as a best friend. I’m also high energy. I don’t get super filthy or super political, but I’m edgy enough where people have got to be on their toes.
Who were your biggest comedy influences growing up?
Robin Williams, Chris Farley, Damon Wayans, Jim Carrey, “In Living Color” all had a really big impact on me. I really loved the characters. That’s a big part of what got me into comedy: impression — impersonating friends and teachers.
You know, I was a real big, chubby kid. The first real laughs I remember were [when] there was a new girl in school in fourth grade and everybody had a big crush on her, including me. And she didn’t like me. I had bigger breasts than she did. She had a big crush on my buddy who was skinny and athletic and popular, but I found out I could impersonate her voice, like to a T. So myself and a couple buddies would call him after school and pretend to be her and talk to him and tell him to go sit next to her at lunch the next day and rub her back and stuff. Kinda diabolical, when you think about it, for a ten-year-old. But we were crying laughing because we’d go to school the next day and see it. It wasn’t anything grotesque. It was all real harmless, but enough to make us laugh.
You’ve worked on a number of projects with Melissa McCarthy including “The Heat,” “Spy” and the upcoming “Ghostbusters” reboot. What it’s like working with her?
For how famous and just a powerhouse comedically she is, she could not be the most normal, down to earth. I mean, literally, within an hour of shooting with her and hanging out with her, I felt like I’d known her for 20 years. She would riff and banter and play with me the way I would with some of my best friends from home.
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“The Heat” was my first movie and it was actually great that all of my scenes were with [Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy] because I spent all my time with them. There’s a lot of downtime in movies [where you sit around] and I had to feel it out. Like “Uh, will these guys want to keep to themselves and do their own thing or can I talk to them and get to know them?” It was the latter. They were just so chill and they looked at me like I was on their level. They were like, “Yeah, you’re in this movie too. You’re in the scenes. We want to be at your best. The more comfortable you are, the funnier you’re going to be.”
Can you tell us anything about the new “Ghostbusters” movie?
I wish I could tell you one thing, but they’re probably going to announce it on “Conan” in a few weeks. There are a lot of really great cameos, which people should be pumped up about. Um, the effects are going to be insane. And honestly, the script is just really good.
If you go:
April 28 to 30
425 Summer St., Boston
Tickets are available online at laughboston.com.