The Pitch Perfect star teams up with ‘work wife’ Rebel Wilson for new rom-com
Adam Devine likes a good slow dance; he just doesn’t want to do it in the rain.
“I’d say I’m fairly romantic,” said Devine, costar of New Line Cinema’s Isn’t It Romantic, which hit theaters on Feb. 13 just in time for Valentine’s Day. “That’s the romantic comedy trope of it being in the rain and you’re so in love that you don’t care. I care. Let’s do it inside.”
Devine stars as Rebel Wilson’s love interest for the fourth time, with Wilson previously having had a cameo on Workaholics, which Devine coproduced, cowrote and costarred in, and the love story of Fat Amy and Bumper in Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2. Devine plays Josh, coworker, best friend and, of course, unknown romantic option to Wilson’s Natalie, a New York City architect who has an encounter with a mugger that renders her unconscious. A lifelong cynic when it comes to love, Natalie wakes up to discover she is the star of her worst nightmare, a romantic comedy.
“We have quite the history,” said Devine. “We joke and say we’re each other’s work husband and wife.”
After claiming that the on-screen relationships with Wilson were “super cute” with playful emphasis on the “super,” Devine gushed about his two other costars, Liam Hemsworth, who portrays Blake, a handsome client, and Priyanka Chopra, who plays Isabella, a model and self-proclaimed yoga ambassador.
“I didn’t know Priyanka before this,” said Devine. “Obviously I knew who she was, but I didn’t know her personally. She’s so cool and down to earth and such a funny, fun person, so it was cool getting to know her. And Liam, I actually directed him in an episode of Workaholics, so he and I had met before in that and, man, that guy makes me laugh so hard. He’s so good in this movie. It will show him in another light, which will be cool for him.”
While Wilson’s character wakes up in her own romantic comedy, Devine joked that if he had to choose a romantic comedy of his own, it would be Cast Away, the 2000 American survival drama starring a stranded Tom Hanks and a volleyball.
“It’s just me on a deserted island with my best friend Wilson,” Devine said. “Is there some sexual chemistry there? It depends on how long I’m on that island.”
Isn’t It Romantic offers many of the usual romantic comedy tropes while making fun of romantic comedies at the same time.
“What’s cool is Rebel’s been saying that she wouldn’t normally get cast in a rom-com so when this came around and it sort of turned rom-coms on its head, she was all about it,” said Devine of the film distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. “It’s cool that this movie is really for everyone, as cliché as that is to say.”
Devine originally segued into acting because he was “shitty at sports.”
“Thank God it worked out,” he half-joked.
Devine explained that unbeknownst to many, his career started with stand-up. At about 19 or 20 years old, he recalled, Devine got a job at the Hollywood Improv Comedy Club, working the door, answering the phones and trying some open mic nights. In 2008, Devine did Live at Gotham, a Comedy Central stand-up show featuring up and coming comics. From there, Devine got Workaholics, which aired from 2011 to 2017.
“It was such a learning experience for me,” said Devine. “I got the show when I was 25. That was my first real job. I hadn’t worked as a series regular on a TV show before, so I went from being a guy who hadn’t ever been a series regular to being not only the star, but I had to write all the episodes and produce them all. The learning curve was really steep for me and the guys, so it was sink or swim and luckily it was swim.”
Since the Comedy Central show, Devine has starred in The Intern, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates with Zac Efron, Modern Family and Netflix original movies such as When We First Met and Game Over, Man! He recently finished his stand-up Weird Life Tour, which culminated in the filming of his first Netflix stand-up special set for June.
“A lot of people didn’t know I do stand-up. That’s why it was really important for me to do my first special,” said Devine. “I love stand-up. I hope to never stop doing it even though movies are so time consuming. Going off and doing stand-up is like a breath of fresh air. It’s just you and the mic and a crowd. It’s just a party every night, which is what I’m all about.”
Throughout Devine’s career, he drew much of his inspiration from three great comedians who came before him: Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell.
“Jim was the first comedic star I fully fell in love with, everything that he did made me laugh,” said Devine. “I like how he segued and did more dramatic stuff and didn’t let himself get boxed in. Will is just naturally the funniest guy that’s ever lived; he will say anything and it will make you laugh. Ben Stiller did what I really respect. He’s able to write, direct, act and produce in his films and coming from a background where I have had to write and produce a lot for myself, I’ve looked up to him my whole career.”
Devine explained he is always developing a new project or trying to find something to work on because he just loves what he does.
“As long as they will allow me to continue doing it, it really is a dream come true for me,” said Devine. “I will try to work as hard as I can for as long as I can.”
While working on a few other projects and with HBO’s The Righteous Gemstones, in which he costars alongside Danny McBride and John Goodman, set to premiere in 2019, Devine is currently filming in San Francisco for his most current role in CBS Films’ comedy Lexi. Written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who wrote The Hangover and directed and penned Bad Moms, the film talks about phone addictions. Devine’s character is so addicted to his phone that he shuts out the outside world. When he finally meets a girl at the behest of his phone, the phone becomes jealous and attempts to ruin its owner’s life.
“I think we all are [addicted],” Devine said. “I got that new update on my Apple and it shows your screen time and it shows I use it 14 percent less than most people, so it turns out everyone is more addicted than me, and I’m looking at my phone literally right now, checking my texts.”
Devine joked that when he spied the update he has used his phone less, he couldn’t help but cheer for himself, “Look at me go. Then all of a sudden you take a road trip and you’ve used the GPS the entire time and you’re like, damn it. I won’t even drive home without it.”
Although he doesn’t consider himself a conspiracy theorist, Devine took on a deeper tone with a touch of humor as he let out, “These things are going to turn on us.” He recalled that he was recently talking with a friend in a crowded bar as his friend explained he works in marketing for a clothing company Devine hadn’t heard of.
“The next day I get targeted ads about his company, that I had never heard of, on my phone,” Devine said. “So obviously my phone heard that and linked us up, which is terrifying.”
While shooting in San Fran, Devine said he met some people who are “really high up in these tech companies, and they’re like ‘oh, it’s terrifying.’ They’re like, ‘I try not to use my phone a lot, I turn off all the settings so it won’t listen to you.’ Once you start to think about it, it does start to get scary and intimidating.”