Adam Devine‘s first job involved selling steaks over the phone. Although the stint only lasted two weeks, it inspired the setting for his successful Comedy Central show “Workaholics.” And Devine has come a long way since his days hawking meat, as he is about to star in “The Intern” alongside Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, which opens Friday.
But his acting career truly began when he was stacking yogurt in the background of Jack Nicholson‘s movie “About Schmidt” when he was a kid. Yes, the comedian who has his own stand-up comedy show on Comedy Central, used to work in a grocery store in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
That’s not all Devine revealed in an interview with TheWrap — he also dished on his fan boy moment when he met De Niro for the first time, and wanting to work with Will Ferrell in the future.
TheWrap: Talk about “The Intern” and how you got the part.
Adam Devine: I auditioned over Skype which is weird. Luckily, I looked good in the grainy footage of Skype, so I tricked her into casting me. I put on a ton of makeup and wore a wig. [Director Nancy Meyers must’ve thought] “Wow, he sure is handsome, not a flaw — what a thick head of hair.”
How was it filming with De Niro?
It was a lot of me trying to act cool but I’m sure I looked like an idiot. It never got old. From the very first second, I always had my mind screaming, “that’s Robert de Niro, that’s Robert de Niro!”
What was your favorite scene?
I shot a couple of scenes with De Niro and I’m asking him about this girl that I am trying to date and he’s giving me love advice and it’s just kind of me and De Niro talking, which was pretty bizarre and cool and surreal. In another scene, I have to rap Busta Rhymes in a car. By the way, Busta Rhymes is the hardest rap to rap. I think if it was like Eminem or Dr. Dre from 2001, I think it would come back to me, but it’s Busta and you just know the beat and every eighth word is “give me some more.”
Is there anyone else that you’ve met where you were starstruck?
This was when I was kid, I was an extra in “About Schmidt,” and I was working at a grocery store in Omaha, Nebraska, and they put me in a scene because they wanted to use real employees as extras, and Jack Nicholson comes in and tries to find milk. And I’m stacking yogurt in the back. I am such a Jack Nicholson fan. And I thought, this is probably my big break. So I kept staring at him and making sure my face was on camera and they politely asked me to stack shelves behind the camera.
What’s next for you? Are you on board for “Pitch Perfect 3?”
I’m not on board for “Pitch Perfect 3,” yet. They haven’t written the movie yet so they aren’t sure which direction they are going. Up next, I’m doing “Workaholics” season six, I’m filming that right now. I’m still doing “Modern Family,” and I still have another season of my stand-up show that is on Comedy Central. Next summer I’m starring in my first movie opposite Zac Efron, in a movie called “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.”
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I sold steaks over the phone for a while. That was a pretty weird job, I was pretty crappy at it. I lasted like two weeks. That’s why [“Workaholics”] is set in a marketing firm.
Are you more your “Workaholics” character or more of a sensitive guy?
I think I’m a little bit of both. My “Workaholics” character is weirdly sensitive but he is so dumb at the same time. He gets too sensitive over things that don’t matter. I’m a weird conglomerate of all the characters I play. Luckily, I’m not as dumb as my character on “Workaholics.”
RuPaul called “Workaholics” the gayest show on TV. What do you think about that?
That’s so funny. He’s right! I mean, we’re doing all this gay stuff. We’re always talking about our dicks — we definitely talk about our dicks more than any other show in the history of television. Dicks are funny.
Are you going to pull a Jonah Hill and play a dramatic role after your comedic run?
The thing is, it’s kind of not up to you. You can pursue things, but it’s up to Martin Scorcese if he wants to cast you in “Wolf of Wall Street.” I would like to! Even in the roles that Jonah is more serious in, he’s still Jonah Hill and he’s still bringing a comedic element to those characters. Even though I started out in comedy and that’s my first love, I really enjoy acting, so I think doing something more dramatic and pushing myself in that way would be a fun thing to do.
Is that your dream or do you have another aspiration?
My dreams are happening right now. The fact that I get to be in movies and act opposite De Niro and people of that caliber … anything beyond this is just icing on the cake. I’m gonna keep working as hard as I can and see how far this thing can take me.
Who is the one person you still want to work with?
Comedically, working with Will Ferrell would be pretty incredible. He’s been a hero of mine forever. Dramatically, I did it with De Niro. He’s my guy. Unless Nicholson decides to start making movies again, I think I reached the peak.
“The Intern” hits theaters on Sept. 25.