Hot off the heels of his role in "Pitch Perfect," Skylar Astin is moving on from singing in a college a cappella group to getting spanked by a college sorority. In the new comedy "21 and Over," Astin plays Casey, one of two buddies (the other played by Miles Teller) who surprise their friend, Jeff Chang (Justin Chon), at his campus dorm in celebration of his 21st birthday. One crazy night goes all sorts of wrong when Jeff gets piss drunk and the guys need to get him home before the break of dawn, a task made all the more challenging due to the fact that they don't have his address.
We chatted with Astin about some of the shenanigans in "21 and Over," including getting butt naked and what it was like to kiss both a girl and a guy (yes, that happens, too) in one film.
You pretty much bare it all in "21 and Over," except for the intervention of a tube sock. How comfortable were you with that initially after reading it in the script?
Squats and crunches [laughs]. Yeah, listen, I like to do things that are shocking or challenging for the sake of comedy. I always thought that, where it stood in the movie, and the context of what was going on, it made me laugh on the page. And sure, to be exposed like that on camera is a crazy thing.
Well, you weren't as exposed as Justin Chon, who goes full frontal.
Oh no, that teddy bear had some real estate. By the way, that was a prosthetic.
[Laughs] No, let's give Justin that credit. Listen, it was all daring. It was a topic that was supposed to be broached sensitively, but you just kind of have to laugh it all off ... [Miles] and I were yelling at the crew, "You guys should all be in socks too today!," and just teasing everybody.
What was the toughest scene for you to shoot amongst all the crazy things you guys did in the film?
I didn't have a tough day on set. I was completely pinching myself this entire experience. I was a leading man in a comedy, in a kind of a genre [from] people that wrote "The Hangover," and I love these kinds of movies. I'd say if there had to be a hardest scene, it obviously would have to be the kissing scene with Miles, because it's not even so much kissing another guy as much as it is being in just a sock, being surrounded by 100 girls that are being directed to be teasing us and pointing fingers and laughing. So it was all of my greatest fears realized. You know that dream where you're completely naked in front of your whole class? Just picture that plus cameras.
Who's the better kisser — Miles or Sarah Wright, who plays your lady love?
Oh, c'mon. You know the answer to that.
Speaking of, what was the first movie you ever made out to?
"Summer Catch" starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. I'll never forget that one. I took Ashley Globerman out on a date, we held hands for the whole movie — which makes for really sweaty palms — and I got a kiss right afterwards.
How old were you?
I was in sixth grade. I started young.
Do you remember how you spent your 21st birthday?
I remember parts of it. I had all of my friends on the rooftop of my New York City apartment, which is extremely dangerous. We took a field trip from the party, as most New Yorkers do, and we didn't really go into any bars because I think I turned 21 before [my friends] so I don't even think they could get in. So we were going to just ordinary places but we were hammered. I remember I was running through a Gristedes with my dog, trying to hide my dog from the employees, trying to get food to bring it back, which was a big house party for a New York City apartment. Things got a little out of hand.
What is the worst pick-up line you've ever used or heard?
I've heard, "Do you have a quarter? Because I need to call my mom and tell her I just found the woman of my dreams." I don't believe in pick-up lines because I've always been very comfortable in my own skin. The thing about a pick-up line is, even if it works, then what? I just figure you unapologetically be yourself, and if it works, cool. I've never really been afraid of being turned down and I think that makes for a high success rate when you're trying to pick up a girl. Generally, I don't meet girls in a place where a pick-up line would be used. I never really take girls home from bars; I meet them through friends or at a party.
Is there a movie that made you want to get into acting?
I don't think so. My introduction to acting was through theatre, so I actually saw a couple of Broadway shows that made me want to be an actor.
Okay, which Broadway show did it for you?
This is a silly one because it's such a ridiculous musical, but "Jekyll & Hyde." The reason I say it's ridiculous is because it's such a heightened drama, but there's this actor Robert Cuccioli, who played [the lead], and I was watching him do this scene at the end where he's transitioning from Jekyll and Hyde and I was so mind-blown at nine years old watching this on a Broadway stage. It was years and years later before I decided to audition for my first community play, but I always held that regard for it.
Do you have a go-to karaoke song?
I thought after "Pitch Perfect," I wasn't going to get this question! [laughs] I think it's weird when someone who has a background in singing actually has to dig into a power ballad. I generally do something rap heavy, or silly, like Chumbawamba or "Forgot About Dre" or "Sabotage."
What's your mock porn star name?
Angel Roberts, which is awesome.
New York or L.A.?
Beer or Wine?
Rap or Rock?
Pacino or De Niro?
Oh my God, impossible. Um, "Goodfellas" is my favorite movie of all time so maybe I have to go with De Niro.