Adam Levine Explains Why He Is Not a Douche

At length, and in great detail, to GQ

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 26, 2014 10:54 AM CDT

(Newser) – The world seems about evenly split between people who think Adam Levine is the Sexiest Man Alive and people who think he's a douche. Well, in a new interview with GQ, the 35-year-old Maroon 5 singer explains—at great length—why he is actually not a douche. The relevant quotes:

  • "OK. Let's get into this: What are the characteristics of a douchebag?" says Levine over "the remains" of an egg-white omelet at an LA-area diner. "Let's define this. ... A douchebag is a really specific thing. OK?"

  • "Would it be really easy to assume that I was a douchebag? Definitely. One hundred percent. But that doesn't mean that I am. Or maybe I am, I don't know."
  • "OK," he says, while sipping a green juice. "So I'm gonna get really intricately self-reflective right now and ask myself the hard questions, to find out, once and for all, definitively, whether or not I'm a douchebag."
  • Things get distracted there for a while when Levine has to flee the paparazzi, leading to a conversational detour during which he refers to his "frat house" days of costume parties, toga parties, and pirate parties to be just about at an end now that he's getting married.
  • He later does address, though, all the famous women he hooked up with upon first achieving celebrity status. He's been considered a douche ever since, he notes after chugging his second coconut water, but "People change." And he says he's grown up, realizing he does not "want to be a 50-year-old dude trolling around a club in LA."
  • But what about all those models he's dated? (Three Victoria's Secret models in five years.) Just before opening his third coconut water, a defensive Levine points out, "I don't date what the person does. I date the f---ing person."
  • Ultimately, Levine's conclusions about what makes a douche were: lack of self-awareness (but he's very self-aware, he says), arrogance ("I'm not arrogant. I'm cocky. It's different. Cocky is playful."), and insecurity masked by too much security (but he's "confident," he explains, which "some people don't like."). His bottom line: "You don't have to like me, but I'd prefer it if you did."
For what it's worth, interviewer Jessica Pressler finds Levine "perfectly pleasant. Delightful, even," though she acknowledges there are arguments to be made for his douchiness. And it must be noted that during one 10-second phone call mentioned in the profile, he calls his assistant "bro" twice. Click for the full article.

Adam Levine, of the musical group Maroon 5, accepts the BMI award for songwriter of the year on stage at the 62nd Annual BMI Pop Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Adam Levine, of the musical group Maroon 5, accepts the BMI award for songwriter of the year on stage at the 62nd Annual BMI Pop Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Beverly...   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
In this Feb. 7, 2013 file photo, recording artist Adam Levine attends the launch of Adam Levine Signature Fragrances at Macy's Westfield Century City, in Century City, Calif.
In this Feb. 7, 2013 file photo, recording artist Adam Levine attends the launch of "Adam Levine Signature Fragrances" at Macy's Westfield Century City, in Century City, Calif.   (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP, File)
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