*With just one acting class under his belt, singer Adam Levine makes his feature film debut in the musical romantic comedy, “Begin Again,” in theaters today.
The crooner, who shares his musical knowledge as a judge/mentor on NBC’s “The Voice,” says he went to an acting class before filming began, but quit after just one lesson.
“It was bizarre, I didn’t like it,” he said at a press conference for the film, held Thursday in New York. “I didn’t like what I was being told because it wasn’t making me happy. But that’s a whole other conversation I don’t want to have. I just thought that I would pretend that I knew what I was doing, and hope and prayed that it worked.”
In the movie, Levine and Knightly play college sweethearts and songwriting partners Gretta and Dave. They move to New York when Dave lands a sweet deal with a record label, but his newfound fame brings newfound women, and Gretta soon finds herself dumped, broke and alone in the Big Apple.
Soon, disgraced record-label exec Dan, played by Mark Ruffalo, happens upon Gretta performing in the East Village and is taken by her raw talent. The two then embark upon a collaboration that becomes mutually restorative on levels beyond just music.
Levine, who shot to fame as the lead singer of Maroon 5, says he could identify with his character’s inability to handle the perks of sudden celebrity.
“When it happened to me, I was probably tempted by some of the same things that he was,” said Levine. “Granted my story is very different than his, but it was very easy to tap into what it was like to experience all these things that we never expected to experience.”
Below, Levine says the character in writer/director John Carney’s script was so similar to his own story that the acting just came naturally.
Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) stars as Saul, Dan’s long-time business partner who fires him from the label they founded, while Levine’s former co-judge on “The Voice,” CeeLo Green, plays a hip hop star named Trouble Gum.
“Begin Again” begins in theaters today, June 27.
Watch the trailer below.