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Singer, actor Nick Jonas talks to Kidsday reporters

The star of ‘Jumanji’ compares singing with his brothers and performing in movies and theater.

Singer and actor Nick Jonas with Kidsday reporters

Singer and actor Nick Jonas with Kidsday reporters Joshua Kiaei, Chloe Yim, Jordan Panah and Charlotte Nerayoff at the Sony offices in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We met singer and actor Nick Jonas when he was in Manhattan recently. We enjoy his music a lot and liked him even more when we saw him in the movie “Jumanji.” We hope he does even more films.

Did you choose to do theater or did you want to do theater?

I loved doing theater when I was a kid. I started when I was 7. It was all because I was in a hair salon with my mom and mom was getting her hair done. I was singing. The woman sitting next to my mom said I could do Broadway because her son was doing Broadway and that we should go see this manager. I went to see the manager and from there I started going out on auditions and stuff. I did my first show, “A Christmas Carol,” here in New York City at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, and that was 17 years ago.

What was the best movie you have acted in?

I am not sure. I guess that is up to people who see my movies. I will tell you that I had a lot of fun shooting “Jumanji” and got to work with a lot of people that I admire and respect. Maybe it was one of the best experiences but definitely one of the biggest in terms of scale — the budget and the big shoot and the premieres around the world were crazy and really exciting.

What is the weirdest thing a fan has ever done?

One time, back in the day with my brothers, two fans jumped into the back of the van that we were taking. When we got to the hotel and went to grab our luggage, they jumped out. It was a little frightening and also a little fun to say hello to them after the fact. Actually we kind of tip our hats to them for being so committed.

Did you name your dog Elvis after your favorite musician Elvis Costello?

Yes, I named him after Elvis Costello. Most people think it was named after Elvis Presley. I love Elvis Presley, but I am a really big Elvis Costello fan.

What did you like more: acting by yourself in a movie or with your brothers?

I think that acting by myself is a different thing. It is something that I have worked hard for, I am thrilled to be in a spot where there is some real momentum there. It is so exciting. Things are starting to happen. But getting to work with my brothers was a great, but different experience. It is hard to compare the two.

What is harder to remember for you? Your song lyrics or the lines for a movie?

Both can be challenging. I think the song lyrics can be tough because there are so many songs. I’ve got — between my stuff and my brothers’ stuff — between 300 and 400 songs to remember, which can be very, very tough. Plus, I have written a bunch of songs that haven’t come out yet, so there are a lot of songs in my head. The words for a scene seem to come a little more naturally because it is just small little bits here and there.

What advice would you now give to your younger self?

I would advise my younger self just to have fun and enjoy the ride. I used to stress out a lot about how things were going to go down and all the little details, but now I think it would be better just to have fun with it.

How did you feel when your agent discovered that you could sing as well as act?

It was the record label that discovered us. They heard a song that we had written and they decided to sign all three of us. The first time I was little bummed out because I was 11 years old and I was doing my own thing and then my brothers had to come in. But it ended up being the best thing for all of us. It was an amazing ride that all of us were able to go on together so I am thankful for it.

What was the first song you wrote and do you still sing it?

It was with my dad. I didn’t finish it or record it, but I remember riding back from New York City from a show, and we sang it in the car. The first song that was ever released was “Joy to the World, A Christmas Prayer.” I wrote that when I was 9 years old. My dad recorded it, and that was the song that got me signed.

What have you learned about yourself since you have become a celebrity and have you been able to get used to it?

Do you ever get used to it? I don’t know, but it is really all I have ever known. It has become a big part of my life. It is just an element for me getting to do what I love to do. I love performing and acting and writing music. I choose not to think too much about the celebrity aspect of it and more grateful that I get to do what I love.

Jennifer Green and Renee Remi’s fourth-grade class, Saddle Rock Elementary School, Great Neck

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