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NICK JONAS - 25

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NICK JONAS - 25

BY Skye Huntington

He’s not the first former Disney alumnus to shirk off his innocent mouse ears and take on a sexy, provocative persona. And he won’t be the last. But the transformation of Nick Jonas from dimpled cheeked boy-bander to muscle-bound leading man is more staggering than most.

And now the 25-year-old hunk has the good fortune of balancing a chart-topping career with a bubbling Tinseltown presence. A minefield for some, but living the dream for Jonas. “I hope I never reach a point in my life where I have to choose. Giving up music would suck. It’s been my life, but acting is new territory for me that I love, being forced to quit either would suck.”

The “Jealous” crooner is a very busy man. There’s an upcoming album and accompanying the tour, a turn in the Jumanji revisit, Welcome to the Jungle and a villainous performance opposite Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley in Chaos Walking. And somewhere in between, he managed to write a catchy number, “Home” for the new animated feature, Ferdinand, the feature film based on the classic children’s book about a Spanish fighting bull who refuses to fight.

Exhausting just thinking about, but Nick is a shrewd customer and knows proactivity will only serve to grow his brand. This is a stretch from four years ago when, after his fraternal group disbanded for good, he worried his moment had passed, when really, it was only beginning.
Formal yet frank, he chats about the inspiration behind his new hit and why it was so personal to him. Jonas also lets us in on his fitness habits, his hopes for the Jumanji movie, his competitive nature and thoughts on future sister-in-law Sophie Turner. Jonas splits his time between LA and New York and is rumored to be dating Victoria’s Secret model, Georgia Fowler.

STRIPLV: How did you become involved with the Ferdinand soundtrack?

JONAS: Through my record label. I always wanted to write a song for a movie. And they said, well actually the director of this movie, Ferdinand, he’d like to meet with you. So we met, he told me what he was after, and I liked this process. I liked having a template of what he was after for these moments in the movie, and also telling the story in this unique way, was something I was very geared up for.

STRIPLV: What does home mean to you?

JONAS: Home will always be where I’m loved and accepted for who I am, no matter what I do and that for me will always be my family. My family is my home. And I felt that message from the movie when I saw a couple of the clips, that’s what stood out to me. And I write about in my music, what I go through and my experiences, but I rarely get the chance to write about and express my feeling for my family and here was that perfect opportunity to convey how I feel about them and what home means to me.

STRIPLV: Where is home for you?

JONAS: It’s LA, it’s New York; I have bases in both. I’m all over the place; I’ve been shooting in Montreal, I was in Hawaii and Atlanta for Jumanji, there’s a crazy amount of traveling right now, which I’m not mad at; it’s intense but amazing. But it’s nice to come back to the family fold and recharge your batteries with the ones who know you best.

STRIPLV: You were shooting Jumanji in Hawaii. How was that experience?

JONAS: It was Hawaii, which is stunning obviously, but it’s also a very tropical, hot island. We weren’t in some resort; we were in the center, the remote center which comes with its own set of challenges. Mosquitos, a lot of mosquito bites, the skeets, the centipedes, the heat. The humidity would knock you out.

STRIPLV: What can fans expect from this? What age were you when the original came out?

JONAS: I was five, and I remember being terrified. And I’m a big Robin Williams fan, total genius, what he did in that movie— well what he did in every movie— but what he did in that was incredible. So we’re trying to interpret our own version with new characters, played by Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, such a cool cast and it’s really funny. So I think people will get a kick out of it, from an homage sense for the original fans and then new fans who’ve never heard of Jumanji.

STRIPLV: But it’s not a remake.

JONAS: It’s not a remake, which I think had a lot of people scared. We’re on a new adventure, with a video game, whereas before, it was a board game. It’s not a sequel; it’s more a continuation of the story.

STRIPLV: What was it like working with Dwayne and Jack Black together?

JONAS: I feel like it was my chance to soak up and learn from those guys. We had a lot of fun on that set, probably more fun than actual work, but those guys are on, kings of their game. Especially during some of those gnarly stunt sequences, those guys would be completely focused and on it. That’s the thing with them, with all of them, they know when to have fun, which was a lot, and then they know when to switch it to precision mode.

STRIPLV: What would Robin Williams think of this version?

JONAS: I’d like to think, I think he would like it. I can’t really say. I think he’d appreciate where we’ve gone with it and developed the story.

STRIPLV: You’re balancing these two careers, but given a choice, which would you go for?

JONAS: I feel like I’d be betraying both sides if I chose one, especially as right now, it’s completely straight down the middle.

STRIPLV: But if you had to choose?

JONAS: Honestly if I had to, I don’t know. I will say performing on stage; there’s nothing like it. You get an immediate response; it’s instant satisfaction, it feels very gratifying absorbing that energy. That’s really special to me. What I’m finding is the balancing, that’s not easy. Because you have to schedule not only the actual acting and songwriting, recording, performing but then there’s the promotion which takes up a lot of time. Next month I’m going to be doing that for both my music and Jumanji - December is going to be wild.

STRIPLV: You’re busier than ever, but when the band finished, were you worried about your future?

JONAS: I genuinely believed, at 21 years old, I was done. I had so much anxiety and no self-worth in my ability, and it wasn’t a great time for me. Thankfully it didn’t last long, I snapped myself out of the funk and pushed myself. What did I want to achieve? Where did I want to go with music, with acting? Suddenly any obstacles seemed less intimidating to overcome.

STRIPLV: Now you’re doing Chaos Walking with Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley, two of the biggest stars on the planet. That must be pretty gratifying?

JONAS: Each role, I feel like I’ve been given the opportunity to showcase more, what I’m capable of, and I’m grateful for that faith in me. You know, that cast is just so cool, Daisy, Tom, Mads Mikkelsen, Doug Liman’s directing. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m excited about the outcome. It’s based off a series of books so it could maybe turn into something big. And my character is someone very different from what I’ve done in the past; he’s leaning more on anger and aggression, that’s new for me. I’m really not a nice guy [in this] and that’s the fun with the job, exploring a new side to myself and my acting.

STRIPLV: So you enjoy playing the bad guy? 

JONAS: Yeah, I like it, it’s fun. I’m into it. I can see the appeal (of the bad guy).

STRIPLV: You’re in incredible shape. Are you in the gym every day? Do you live there?

JONAS: Yeah, not every day, but mostly, most days. It’s not about how often you go to the gym, for me anyway; it’s about the food you eat and the amount of good sleep you get.

STRIPLV: Sleep? A workout I can get on board with. How does that work?

JONAS: Just like getting to bed at a reasonable hour before midnight. It’s so important. I would always substitute an hour of sleep over an hour in the gym, given a choice.

STRIPLV: Both you and Joe have rocking bodies, as well as successful singing careers, are you competitive?

JONAS: (Laughs) We are definitely competitive but not in what you think, not in music or the entertainment industry stuff. It’s more like, games and sports, we’ve always been that way. Because we’re close in age, we’re brothers; it comes with the territory. I’m probably not as competitive now, I used to be intensely competitive, really sore loser but doesn’t matter so much to me. I’m learning to chill. It’s just a game, get over it.

STRIPLV: So no jealousy if DNCE gets to the top of the charts or sell more records than you?

JONAS: No, there’s just love and holding each other up. I love what they’ve done.
STRIPLV: Will you collaborate?

JONAS: For sure, I ‘m a huge fan, I could see that happening. Right now, we’re all on our separate paths, it’s about support and giving advice and talking about what we have going on. Joe and I live together in LA, and it’s always nice to chill and talk about what we have going on, what we’re working on.

STRIPLV: Are you happy with Sophie Turner as your future sister-in-law?

JONAS: I’m really happy for them. She is a lovely person inside and out, and we’re really happy to welcome her to the family. Couldn’t be happier.

STRIPLV: Are you a Game of Thrones fan?

JONAS: I do love Game of Thrones, very much.

STRIPLV: Isn’t it odd being around Sansa?

JONAS: No, not at all. She’s so cool and totally awesome regular, you’d never think she was on the biggest show on the planet. Super, super sweet.

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