The star of The Five-Year Engagement and Parks and Recreation talks about living in a van, being married to Anna Faris, and pretending Brad Pitt is nobody special.

As told to Justin Monroe (@40yardsplash)

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This feature appears in Complex's April/May 2012 issue.

On the highs and lows of "homelessness":

"Living in a van in Hawaii with my friend Zeb at age 19 was maybe the greatest time of my life. We told friends we had a beach house. In a way we were homeless, but at the same time we were able to transcend the difficulty of home ownership. There was no liability, no overhead. We were truly free. Getting three Mickey’s Ice 40s for $6 was a positive too… But there were fleas and mice that also lived in our van. And we didn’t have anywhere to go to the bathroom."

On his first movie:

"I have no regrets about getting my start in Rae Dawn Chong’s Cursed Part 3. I have…the opposite of regrets, whatever that word is. I went from living in a van to having a car and a reel and my foot in the door in Hollywood. I learned how to hit a mark… But, actually, I probably didn’t learn anything. If you watch the movie, I’m fucking awful. The movie’s terrible and I’m especially terrible. My friends have told me it’s the worst movie they’ve ever seen."

On playing cool around Moneyball co-star Brad Pitt:

"The best acting you do in an audition where you’re reading with Brad Pitt is just sitting down and pretending you’re not sitting across from Brad Pitt, like it’s no big deal. I knew they wouldn’t hire a guy who would be openly excited to work with him, who felt like he got lucky… But if there’s any regret I have about Moneyball it’s that I never let myself have that moment to be like, “Goddamn, I’m working with Brad Pitt! I’m working with Brad fucking Pitt on this movie!"

On fat jokes:

"I’m not a big fan of mean-spirited humor, making somebody feel small. I have no problem making fun of myself, but I don’t like to make fun of somebody else—unless it’s so far behind their back that they never know about it… But I didn’t feel so bad wearing a fat suit in What’s Your Number? Those weren’t fat jokes making fun of fat people; they were fat jokes making fun of the fat person I was playing. And look, I can get away with fat jokes. I was fat as shit last January."

On gaining and losing weight for roles:

"I gained 50 lbs. for Ten Year and got really watery, really fat and pink, like a little piglet. I’d sleep in every day, be lazy… But as fun as it was, I never felt nearly as good as when I’m trying to lose weight. I grew up a wrestler, so working out and cutting weight and dedicating myself to something physical is something that I really love. I try to stay right in the middle, so I’m like six weeks to two months away from whatever weight I want to be."

On being married to Anna Faris:

"It’s good that both Anna and I are in this business. There’s a mutual understanding that traveling for a job is part of the machine and a mutual respect for the priority that our work has to take, sometimes even over our relationship. We’re not gonna pile any guilt onto that situation… But at the same time you gotta check in. You can’t just trust that everything’s gonna be fine. You gotta make visits. You gotta be romantic still. You gotta make sure that your relationship is a major priority as well."

On the secret to improvisational comedy:

"I think the key to improv is life experience and having used comedy as a defense mechanism, whether it was to get out of fights or tough situations, combating bullies or a mean parent or whatever… But I would also say that 30% of it is writing combined with lying, a couple nights before you’ve got a scene, looking at the scene and writing yourself 10 extra jokes, and then, on the day you film, saying those jokes as if you just came up with them."

As told to Justin Monroe (@40yardsplash)

Follow @ComplexPopCult