Thank the heavens Nick Jonas and Jack Black struck up a bromantic friendship on the set of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” — otherwise, would we have gotten the brilliant “Jumanji, Jumanji” song and the accompanying music video that has since gone viral?
In an interview with TheWrap, Jonas said it was awesome working with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Black on the film that opened in theaters Wednesday. But Jonas struck up a “bromance” with one actor in particular, he said.
“On the weekends, Jack and I would venture out for food — both of us being foodies — and there were just so many adventures to be had on Oahu,” Jonas said. “The scene that I had most fun shooting was probably the one with Jack by the water, where we are talking after Bethany [Black plays her avatar in the game] gave me one of her lives. It was a really nice scene and laid the emotional groundwork for the characters and you start to see the change in Bethany… We kind of connected right away. Our first day on set was the scene where my character, Alex, introduces himself in the treehouse, and we were able to break the ice pretty quickly and the friendship was born — the bromance, if you will.”
And because they became so close, the duo blessed us with the song “Jumanji, Jumanji” and its accompanying brilliant music video, which made the rounds on social media earlier this week — and Jonas said that it’s the project that has gotten “the most love” from his friends. It has become such a cult hit by just living on the internet that Jonas doesn’t think he’ll be releasing the song on iTunes anytime soon: “Maybe Spotify,” he said.
“The movie and the video for ‘Jumanji, Jumanji’ were equally as fun to shoot,” he said, laughing. “You know, the music video was obviously a shorter shoot, it only took about an hour and a half. With this, you really gotta go all the way. I think we’d been singing the song for so long on set and after so much that we just said, ‘let’s go with it. We think it’s fun.’”
Though he’s most associated with his pop stardom, Jonas has starred in other films and TV series, like “Goat,” “Kingdom” and “Scream Queens.” And, he told TheWrap, it was good training before he set out to film in the jungles of Hawaii.
“There’s a real chance in this movie and with my character especially to lay some of the emotional groundwork for the story, which I really love,” Jonas said. “Most of my projects, apart from ‘Scream Queens,’ have been more of a dramatic tip, so it’s been nice to use that training and put it to use in this film.”
He added, “In some ways, ‘Kingdom’ has prepared me for everything in my life. It was a moment of my life that I look back on with pride and joy… It was great preparation in learning to work with a team and finding your place within a broad story and being able to feel comfortable and confident every day on set.”
When Jonas read the script for the project, he was happy to see that it was a “continuation of the original” as opposed to a remake of the 1995 film that starred Robin Williams.
“I’m a huge fan of the original and we felt that it was important to be able to bring ‘Jumanji’ to a new generation and do it in a way that really honored the original and paid homage to it and Robin Williams’ brilliant performance,” said Jonas.
After going on tour with Black to promote “Jumanji, Jumanji” (just kidding), Jonas plans to take some well-deserved time off for the holidays. After all, the singer and actor was nominated for his first Golden Globe for his song “Home” for the animated film “Ferdinand.”
“I never write any of my music with the intention to be recognized, I just think, let the song be written first and try to make it the best it can be,” he said of the song. “I’ll be honest, when I watched the movie the first time, I had a sense in my gut that it was special. It’s been one of the most special weeks of my life, and this recognition from the Hollywood Foreign Press gives me that encouragement to keep trying to grow.”