Rapid Round: 'Mike and Dave' Star Adam Devine on Bonding With Zac Efron and His Worst Date Ever
The 'Workaholics' star joins Efron to play hard-partying brothers who use Craigslist to find respectable dates for their sister's wedding.
Until now, Adam Devine has probably been best known for co-creating and starring in the Comedy Central show Workaholics, a comedy about a group of weed-smoking friends and roommates who work together at a telemarketing company, or for his role as the chipper manny on ABC's Modern Family.
But with Workaholics riding off into the sunset with its seventh and final season, Devine and his costars (Blake Anderson and Anders Holm) are each making the leap into film. After supporting parts in the first two Pitch Perfect films, Devine steps up to take on a lead role, opposite Zac Efron, in the raunchy comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, directed by Jake Szymanski, which hits theaters July 8.
In the Fox and Chernin Entertainment film, Devine and Efron play hard-partying brothers who place an ad on Craigslist to find respectable dates for their sister's wedding. Instead, they attract two troublemakers, played by Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick, who turn out to be wilder than they are.
Devine, who will next appear in the comedy Why Him? with James Franco and is producing and starring in a film with Seth Rogen, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about bonding with Efron, meeting the real-life Mike and his vote for the funniest person working in Hollywood today.
Did you know Zac Efron before the film, and how much bonding time did you get?
We didn't really know each other before. I just knew him through friends a little bit. We both have a mutual friend in Brittany Snow. We went out to Hawaii a week earlier for rehearsal-slash-brother-bonding time, and we just really clicked. It sort of pisses me off how great of a guy he is on top of being America's handsome prince. I got food poisoning when we were shooting, and he was like, "Bro, I'm bringing you Saltines. I'm gonna get you some electrolytes." I'm like the type of person that likes to be left alone when they're sick. But he said, "I'll sleep on your couch. Want me to sleep on your couch?" And I'm like, "No. Get out of here." He's truly just a good guy.
Describe Zac Efron in three words.
Bad boy beefcake.
Now describe yourself in three words.
Mad dog deviant. Ooh, that's a good one.
Your characters are based on real guys.
Yes! They're really handsome dudes, more handsome than the star versions — just speaking of myself. I bet Mike is bummed that he has me and his brother, Dave, gets to say "Zac Efron plays me in the movie."
How much time did you spend with the real Mike?
Not a whole lot. We were shooting when they came on set, and they were everything that we wanted them to be. They'd show up on set at 11 a.m., and they were already drunk. They're like trying to get me to sneak off behind a dumpster to smoke weed, and I'm like, "Man, I'm at work! I'm in the middle of shooting this movie, portraying your lives" — and they're like, "Exactly." Then later I find out they got kicked out of a hot tub because they were with a bunch of Swedish models. I'm like, "What is going on? I'm supposed to be like the movie-star version of you guys, and I'm not making out with models in the Jacuzzi."
There's a musical number, which includes you and your Pitch Perfect co-star Anna Kendrick, along with Zac Efron, who also has a strong background in musical comedy. How did that come about?
We kind of added it last-minute. We wanted a big fun ending, and then Jake and our producer David Ready devised this plan. I remember Anna and I looked sideways at each other when he told us they were going to do a musical number. Pitch Perfect 2 had just come out, and we were, like, "OK, we see what's happening here. They're trying to get a jump on Pitch Perfect 3." But I don't think it feels that way.
Do you have a go-to karaoke song?
My girlfriend and I like L.L. Cool J's "Doin' It." The other night at the premiere party, we were about to perform it, and then I realized that my parents were at the party and it was way too sexually graphic for us to sing. So I chickened out. Actually, it was my girlfriend's doing. She was like, "I'm not gonna sing this in front of your dad," although they had just seen the movie, and they've seen every episode of Workaholics. So, I mean, if anyone can get away with singing that in front of their parents, it's probably me.
Do you have a worst-date story?
I did go on this date with this girl that I met online, and I should have known that she was gonna be crazy. I asked, "What do you do?" and she was like, "Oh, I make videos." And I'm like, "Oh, cool. That's kind of how I got started. I want to see some of your videos." The videos were of her dressed up as a superhero and fighting crime, but then the bad guy's superpower was to sit on her face. So it was like a weird fetish for a subculture of guys who really love superheroes and also sitting on faces. I'm like, "And you do this every day?" And she's like, "Oh, constantly. It's my whole life. I love it."
Who do you think is the funniest person working in Hollywood today?
Will Ferrell is a true hero of mine. I love just about everything he does. And I really like everything that Seth Rogen does. When I was starting to come up, everyone was so much older than me, like Will Ferrell, Jack Black, [Adam] Sandler, Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. There was no one around my same age who was starring in comedy movies. And then I remember Kyle Newacheck, who directs most of Workaholics, and I — we were at The Grove watching a movie, and we saw the poster for Knocked Up. [Seth Rogen] looked like a buddy of ours. I'm like, "Oh, we can do that too." In his movies, he talks how we talk, and he has the same references that we do. We thought, "It's possible. There is gonna be another wave of people in comedy." And hopefully I'm on that wave. I want to ride it. Give me a boogie board.
And you're making a movie with Seth now called Game Over, Man!
Yes, it's exciting. We wrote the first draft a good four or five years ago, but Workaholics takes up so much of our time. We've done five or six drafts by now. Finally with Workaholics coming to an end this season, we feel it's the right time to pull the trigger. We're really excited. We hope it does well because we love working with each other, and it's gonna be fun to take the next step and make a big movie with each other.
Do you have a dream movie role or a person you'd love to work with?
I'd love to do a Chris Nolan movie — something really cool and trippy and inventive and then have a regular dude like me get trapped in an insane situation. I don't know. You hope as an actor that you can look back at your career when you're an old man and you can say, "Wow, I got to live all of these different lives." You know what I mean: "I was in the Army in a movie. I was in a Western. I was a professional baseball player." And you get to work with cool directors, and then on top of that, you get to meet a general or a cool baseball player that you'll be playing. You get to meet people in that world. I got to meet all these a cappella singers for the Pitch Perfect movies; those guys are wildly talented. If I ever have a 12-year-old daughter who is looking to have a fun birthday party, I've got people to call. I've got a cappella singers on speed dial.
Do you have a dream that reoccurs a lot?
I've only had it for a handful of times, but it's in a haunted funhouse where there are clowns and stuff, and they're trying to scare you. And I walk around, I'm scared, and then somehow I befriend the clowns. And then we're all just kicking it in this funhouse, and it becomes a fun house again. I wonder what that means.