Grow­ing into a role

Nick Jonas is al­ways look­ing for the next chal­lenge as singer and ac­tor.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Showbiz - By LUAINE LEE

THOUGH he’s been act­ing since he was seven, Nick Jonas says he still fig­ures he’s go­ing to crash and burn with ev­ery new role.

“I al­ways think I’m go­ing to be fired the first day of a new job,” he says, perched on the edge of a black vinyl couch in a meet­ing room in Pasadena, Cal­i­for­nia.

“Ev­ery time I start a new film or TV show or any­thing, my first re­ac­tion is, ‘Ah, I’m go­ing to get fired from this.’ I’ve heard from other ac­tors who feel the same way. But it’s part of the thing. It ei­ther de­stroys you or makes you great. You gotta lean toward let­ting it make you great, but not los­ing your mind in the process,” he says.

In fact, Jonas has been ex­e­cut­ing a bal­anc­ing act be­tween life and work since he was a lit­tle boy grow­ing up in New Jer­sey. His first real promi­nence came not as an ac­tor, but as a mu­si­cian-song­writer with his two older broth­ers and their pop­u­lar band, the Jonas Broth­ers.

He says there’s no dis­cord be­tween his love of act­ing and his pas­sion for mu­sic. “I’m re­ally for­tu­nate to not have to choose so far in my ca­reer. Be­sides des­ig­nat­ing a cer­tain amount of time for each project, there hasn’t come a sit­u­a­tion where it was one or the other. The mu­sic, I’m some­what flex­i­ble be­cause I cre­ate my own sched­ule there. And on the film side, I can work my mu­sic around film and tele­vi­sion. So there’s no con­flict. On a cre­ative level, I think they re­ally com­ple­ment each other.”

While he’s co-starred in shows like Scream Queens, Hawaii Five-O, and in the Dis­ney Chan­nel se­ries with his broth­ers, Jonas, it’s his role as the con­flicted mar­tial arts con­tender in King­dom, that re­ally tests him.

“I was sent the script by my agent. I said, ‘I’d re­ally LOVE to go and read for this.’ And he said, ‘Well, I’ll float your name, but I think com­ing from where we’re com­ing from ...’.”

At that time, peo­ple as­so­ci­ated him with the Dis­ney Chan­nel show and as a mem­ber of the band. “My broth­ers and I had reached a re­ally high level of suc­cess, but we were at a re­ally dull mo­ment and had just bro­ken up,” he re­calls, cross­ing his legs at the knee and lean­ing back. “So it was not the best mo­ment to hire Nick Jonas.

“But thank­fully, I put my head down and went to work. I worked with my act­ing coach and pre­pared for this au­di­tion. And I got called back and called back again, and even­tu­ally I ended up in a chem­istry (test) with Frank Grillo.”

Grillo plays Jonas’ tough and de­mand­ing fa­ther who runs the gym where the MMA com­bat­ants pre­pare for bat­tle. “From what I’ve heard now, they said that I was the best in the room and even though it was a dif­fi­cult cast­ing be­cause they didn’t feel that I was nec­es­sar­ily the one that made the most sense, they knew it was the right call. I’m grate­ful they cast me,” he nods.

That was a tough time for the 24-year-old. His “band of broth­ers” had dis­sem­bled be­cause of dif­fer­ences, and he felt adrift.

“I was not so much scared,” he says, “I was re­ally frus­trated. At that point in my life, I was 21, and I was anx­ious to prove my­self as an adult – anx­ious to be given a real shot. There had been other projects that

I was des­per­ate to be part of that fell apart be­cause of my last name. That was a theme for about a year-and-a-half.

So I think I reached that wall where I was just tired of shut doors and thank­fully this one stayed open.”

Jonas’ de­ter­mi­na­tion to be­come an en­ter­tainer be­gan when he was a kid and was prompted by a play­bill his par­ents had brought home from the mu­si­cal Les Mis­er­ables. He was in­spired to see chil­dren among the cast, and vowed he would be one of them some­day.

“I kinda felt the goals were within me, al­ways,” says Jonas.

“I al­ways had a real clear vi­sion that

I wanted to be in en­ter­tain­ment on some level. It started for me on Broad­way which was the best place to grow as a young performer, and then tran­si­tion­ing nat­u­rally into record­ing mu­sic and tour­ing. But it wasn’t some­thing where I had to re­ally sit down and write it and man­i­fest it.

“For some peo­ple, be­ing a child ac­tor is their worst re­gret, but for me, it set me up into be­ing an adult in this and to be a part of peo­ple’s lives from an early age and get them some fa­mil­iar­ity,” he says.

“(I had) a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties that were amaz­ing – do­ing shows and work­ing with great peo­ple, tal­ented peo­ple – but when I was on Broad­way, I wanted to be in films. And there’s al­ways more. Those were the ob­sta­cles.

“As time went on, it was al­ways about the next thing and how to con­tinue to grow. I think that’s still there, but I’ve learned to bal­ance a lit­tle bit and to ap­pre­ci­ate some of the vic­to­ries.” – Tri­bune News

Ser­vice

Photo: AP

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