In his first major movie role, Levine plays Dave, a young recording artist who changes his image and dumps his singer-songwriter girlfriend Gretta, played by Keira Knightley, the moment he finds success. Inspired by her heartbreak and aided by a once-great music producer, however, Gretta goes on to make her own album on her own terms.
"This guy, this character was kind of in the midst of becoming successful, too, so it was a very specific time. When it happened to me, I was probably tempted by some of the same things that he was," Levine told UPI at a press conference in Manhattan Thursday. "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. When you commit to being a musician, I don't think you're really sure you're ever going to be able to pay the bills. I don't think you care about that as much as you care about playing music. So, this guy was just overwhelmed and so was I. So, it was pretty easy, actually. I believe that has something to do with why John called me because very few people get to experience those things and I think he thought I'd be able to articulate that on camera."
Co-starring Mark Ruffalo and James Corden, Begin Again is in theaters now.