The first movie kind of scared him when he was a kid.
After catching the attention of critics and fans with acclaimed performances in the TV series Kingdom and the dark dramatic film Goat, Nick Jonas is turning to action comedy with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, in which he stars alongside Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan. He has also just been nominated for a Golden Globe for his song Home from the animated movie Ferdinand.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle cast
For Jonas, his career is all about trying to avoid expectations. "I think, for me, it's just about taking strides to grow," he says. "That sort of drives the conversation and not the idea that I'm working against people's idea of what I'm trying to accomplish. And what's been great is that there's been a really warm welcome to the acting side. I think that's because the steps taken have been thought out and I've tried to make some good choices and find some great roles. But you know this next step with Jumanji and the projects I have going on feels really exciting."
Jonas remembers watching the original 1995 Jumanji movie when he was 5 or 6. "It freaked me out when I first saw it," he laughs. "And you fall in love with it and it became a huge part of my childhood. The pressure was relieved once I heard that this new movie was not a reboot or a remake. There's a new set of characters and the board game becomes a videogame. It was a great set up to bring Jumanji and what we loved about the first one to a new generation."
And he also loved pretty much everything about making the film. "The best part was getting to work with these incredible actors," he says. "And spending time in Hawaii was not bad. Can't complain about that! The beauty of the island is really incredible and hard to put into words, just how amazing it is. We were literally in the middle of the jungle and it was a fun time, a great experience. I'll just remember for next time to bring some more bug spray."
He also says that he enjoyed getting to play a little romance with Jack Black. "Jack is very convincing," Jonas laughs. "Playing opposite him was difficult actually because I was trying not to laugh the whole time. And it was CPR, not a kiss! But it was awkward. It also felt like they did many more takes of that scene than any other scene in the movie."