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Adam DeVine on trying to get into shape to play Zac Efron's brother

The "Workaholics" and "Pitch Perfect" actor talks "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" and having mixed feelings about his 30s.

Adam DeVine admits he’s hungover. The L.A. premiere for “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” his new movie, was the night before, and at 32 his body is no longer able to handle excessive boozing. As it happens, the fear of getting older is one of the themes in the new comedy. The “Workaholics” and “Pitch Perfect” actor and Zac Efron play hard-partying brothers who are forced by their parents to bring dates to their sister’s Hawaii destination wedding, rather than go their usual stag. They wind up snagging two strangers (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza), who are secretly way wilder than they are. DeVine talks aging, becoming known for his musical chops and his very different fanbases.

The 30s can be brutal on the body. How has it been for you?
The hangovers now last a full day. It used to be I could wake up and shake it off, like a dog shaking off water. Now it’s a full day of me dealing with it. But for the most part I’m loving my 30s. I’m starring in a movie in my 30s. The 30s have been great for me.

In the 30s people become even more focused.
And you know what you want out of life. What’s nice is you also start to know what you don’t like, too. People are like, “Coachella this year, we’re doing it!” I’m like, “Nah, I’m fine. I don’t want to frolic around in the desert with you people.” You start to realize you can say "no" to things. The fear of missing out gets a little better.

Are there things you still want to do that you can still do?
I haven’t traveled much beyond the U.S. I’ve never been to Europe. I’ve literally never been on a vacation. Not a real adult one. I’ve done weekend stuff, but I’ve never taken a week and just gone somewhere. When you say it out loud it’s sad, but I’ve gone to so many cool places for work that it kind of evens out. But I’m in need.

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You weren’t a musical person before “Pitch Perfect,” but even in “Mike and Dave” you’re slipping in a lot of song and dance bits. Where does that come from?
I’ve always liked goofing off and singing and dancing and acting like a dummy.

How did the “Pitch Perfect” team know you had this in you?
I’m pretty musical on “Workaholics.” Maybe that has something do with it. But when I went in [to audition] I didn’t know it was a singing movie. I thought it was a baseball movie. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. So I did the scene and they were like, “OK, what song did you prepare?” So I just sang the “Full House” theme song. That was the only song that popped into my head. I walked out of the audition saying, “There’s no way I’ve gotten it.” And somehow I did. And now it seems like I sing in absolutely every movie. [Laughs] Even in “The Intern,” I’m rapping Busta Rhymes. This musicality is going to haunt me. If I’m in this business for 40 years I’m going to be a 70-year-old man just crooning. I’m a musical guy — who knew?

It must be strange having one fanbase that’s about edgy stuff like “Workaholics” and then musical types into “Pitch Perfect.”
Now my mom can be proud of the things I’ve done. I know she was having a hard time with some of her friends over “Workaholics.” They’d watch it and be like, “He’s doing drugs in every episode! Why is he wasted in every show?”

I should ask about Zac Efron. It’s weird that people are still surprised when he’s funny.
I’m like, ‘How many comedies does this guy have to do before someone gives him credit?’ I honestly think of all the comedies he’s done, he’s the funniest as Dave. Dave is a lot like Zac in real life: He’s a sweet, sincere, nice guy — just a f—ing sweetheart. He’ll say these dumb and insane things but so earnestly.

And he has the most annoyingly perfect abs.
I think he cut me some slack on “Mike and Dave.” I was working so hard to get into great shape, because I was going to have to stand next to him. So I was working out the most I ever have in my life. When I’d work out with him he’d stop hallway through and say, “I’m good!” Then he stopped working out at all halfway through the production. I’m like, ‘I see what you’re doing: You’re so nice you’re going to put on a few pounds to meet me in the middle.’ [Laughs] He got nowhere close, but I appreciated the offer.

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge

 
 
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