Things didn’t start well when I went to interview Nick Jonas last week. The interview was in a really fancy hotel and when I went in and told the reception that I was there for an interview they asked me which department of the hotel I was interviewing for a job in. Nice one. That’s how much I belong in Mayfair.
Anyways, finally I found Nick hidden away at the back of the bar, friendly but slightly sleepy (this was the day after the Brits after all when everyone in the whole music industry is mortally hungover so being a little sleepy is totally forgiveable).
Nick's definitely on the radar over here, but it's in America that his fame reaches ridiculous levels. Once one third of Disney super group The Jonas Brothers, Nick's now headed out on his own and his first solo single Jealous is coming out next week. The video starts him looking A) super fit and B) canoodling with his equally attractive girlfriend; former Miss USA Olivia Culpo.
We caught up with him about the BRITs, fear of flying and speaking at Oxford Student Union.
The Debrief: Hello Nick Jonas!
Nick Jonas: Hello.
DB: Do the Americans know the BRITs are a thing?
NJ: Yeah. To a certain degree. It was my first time going. In the US press they’ll talk about it but it’s not like a huge focus. But I had a really great time.
DB: Was it weird going to an awards show where everyone got really pissed? I feel like that might be frowned upon at the Grammys
NJ: It’s a really nice vibe! I feel like the US award shows can be a little more stiff. And that’s not just because of the alcohol.
DB: Did you go to some awesome afterparties?
NJ: I went to the Universal afterparty but I had to be up pretty early for the Grimshaw show so I went to bed pretty early actually. I went to bed at 1:30 or 2.
NJ: That’s what I’m hearing from everybody.
DB: When are you going back to America?
NJ: Tomorrow morning. I was here all of last week doing some writing and stuff and then I went to New York for like a day and then I can back here for this week.
DB: How do you do so much flying I hate it?
NJ: I’m also terrified of flying. Yeah.
DB: Are you? But you must do it so much!
NJ: I know. I’ve had to find a way to get through.
DB: What? Please tell me I need help!
NJ: Just sleep. I basically stay up till I get to the plane so I can just sleep the entire flight.
DB: What is it you don’t like? The take off or landing or is it the entire thing?
NJ: Turbulence really gives me anxiety and I think it’s the whole thing of not being in control, you know.
DB: OMG Nick Jonas it is exactly the same thing with me!
NJ: If it’s a car and I’m driving like I know that I can do something. But with a plane it’s out of your hands.
DB: I so feel for you it’s just the worst thing because you’re just stuck and there’s not much you can do… Shit. Sorry. Its not very helpful that you’re getting on a plane tomorrow, let’s stop that. So have you enjoyed your time in our country?
NJ: Yeah, I love coming here. I spent a summer here a couple of years ago doing Les Mis actually on the West End.
DB: Nick Jonas. Les Mis is my favourite musical. I once saw Jon from S Club 7 play Marius but I feel like you might have been better. What is your favourite song?
NJ: I have a few favourites. I like the soliloquy when Val Jean’s deciding who he is going to become basically. I love Empty Chairs and I love, Little Fall Of Rain.
DB: Did you love the film?
NJ: I did. I thought the film was brilliant. I had a bunch of friends in it too so…
DB: That probably helps. So last week you did your speech at the Oxford student Union, was it scary talking to so many stupidly clever people?
NJ: Yeah. To a certain degree. I kind of set the stage though before I started speaking about the fact that I’m a musician and an actor and not necessarily a public speaker or, you know, that I was just a peer of theirs and hanging out and sharing my story so it took some of the pressure off.
DB: I watched the video and you’ve got the confidence of a seasoned TED talker – how do you do it?
NJ: I have been speaking in front of people for quite a while now just because… I get pretty political about Diabetes awareness and other things that I was passionate about from a pretty young age so I kind of had to figure that out pretty quickly and I think as long as you take the pressure off yourself it makes it easier.
DB: In your speech too you said you only spent 4 hours with your girlfriend this month ☹
NJ: I think the thing that’s worked for us is just being really transparent with each other about our schedules and making the time that we do have to talk as good as we can. And really being understanding as best we can. It’s easier said than done but it does help.
DB: Ha yes. So, since you’ve performed for every president you’ve been alive for, who’s your fave? I love Bill Clinton so much
NJ: He was amazing. And I think after I performed for him and his wife I went and sat down and hung out with them for about an hour. It was incredible. And then the Bush family was really good too. My family had us come a bunch of times. And president Obama’s daughters are big fans so I sung for them many times and I was actually with my brothers in the White house the night he was inaugurated and they did a scavenger hunt in the house for the girls and we were in the final room. We were like the prize.
DB: What? Nick Jonas that is amazing!
NJ: Yeah. And we sang them a couple of songs. Yeah it was nice.
DB: Did they freak out?
NJ: Yeah they freaked out.
DB: Speaking of presidents, do you love House of Cards? (Travel back in time with us if you will – this was the day before season three was released)
NJ:* House of Cards*. I’m so excited to watch it. You have no idea. I have two very rare days off this weekend specifically in the schedule to be able to watch House of Cards.
DB: Amazing. Do you think you can finish it all it two days?
NJ: Yeah, yeah. I’m gonna bang through it.
DB: Nice. I mean no sleeping, no eating?
DB: That’s absolutely fine. Sorted.
DB: Hey, Nick Jonas. What did your parents say about your nearly naked shoot a few months back?
NJ: They were cool with it! I sent my dad some of the pictures as we were doing the shoot and he was like ‘ha ha you know where you get this from, right?’ He was actually proud. And you know, it was all in good fun and they were fine. My brothers gave me some shit about it, it was funny. But it was all in good spirits. Cool.
Nick Jonas. We want to meet your dad.
Jealous is out March 30
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.