Tag Archives: Jesse McCartney

Jesse McCartney in the Midst of a Whirlwind

McCartney and MichalkaLife is a whirlwind for Jesse McCartney, with his new “Expecting Amish” Lifetime movie, his new “In Technicolor” album, and his five-week House of Blues tour about to get underway. The timing of it all sounds like smart strategy, but according to McCartney, “It was a happy coincidence. The album release was set back around the end of January, and the movie came up very last minute.”

In the made-for-television film, McCartney plays an L.A. disc jockey who mixes
it up with an Amish girl (AJ Michalka) who is confronting worldliness for the
first time on a Rumspringa trip.

“It was all very new for me. I knew very little about the Amish culture,” says
McCartney. And while “Breaking Amish” and other reality shows in recent years
have put the spotlight on young members of the religion getting out and mingling
in the 21st-century world, he hadn’t seen the subject in a drama.

“I talked to the director; he really knew what he wanted. I liked the script.
I’d known AJ for years and I knew it would be fun to work with her,” he adds.

When his character meets AJ’s at a party. “He’s struck by her reaction to her
surroundings, and when she says she’s never been to a party before. There’s
something sweet about it. Before he knows it, he’s falling madly in love.”

And more. The drama centers on the choices she’s forced to make when she finds
herself pregnant by an outsider.

Meanwhile, it’s a huge week for McCartney, musically speaking. He released a
teaser EP of “Technicolor” late last year, and says he was happy to find an
appetite for his venture into disco/pop.

“These fans were waiting for it. People seem very excited about it, genuinely
excited about the new sound. Honestly, I thought they would like it. I think
music on pop radio is on its way back,” he says.

He doesn’t mind admitting he was influenced by his parents’ music. He thinks we
all are, “Big time. Whatever your parents listened to is your foundation of
music.” In his case, that meant Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, the Bee Gees.
“I was singing at an early age,” notes the 27-year-old, who performed in
community theater musicals at 7, joined the boy band Dream Street at 12, and was
a bona fide teen heartthrob with his own solo success, as an actor as well as
singer, by 16. He feels he found his best voice doing blue-eyed soul.

McCartney says he wants to “push the album as long as I can and then get into
the production side of things in television by the end of the year.” He has
several projects on the burner.

And … what of the fourth Alvin and the Chipmunks movie? “There’s talk about
it. I’ve heard rumors but no official word,” says McCartney, who voices Theodore
in the feature series. “I’m sure they’ll make another. We work with the
Bagdasarians and they’ve been great about doing these.” Voice work, he adds,
“really is such an easy job — way less stress than being on camera. I went in
to work on ‘Alvin’ in sweatpants.”

Celeb Grand Prix Driver Brian Austin Green — Who’s the Fastest Star Around?

Brian Austin Green, Fox photo

It’s pressure time for the celebrity drivers who’ll be racing in this weekend’s Long Beach Grand Prix Pro/Celeb matchup, including Brian Austin Green, who tells us the competition has gotten a lot tougher than when he first competed in the event 13 years ago.

“Then, Sean Patrick Flanery was the only guy who was really fast.  Everyone else was kind of bumbling around trying to figure out what they were doing.  Now we’ve got a lot of guys who are fast.  Keanu Reeves won it last year and he’s back this year, but he comes back as a pro.  For last year’s winner, that happens automatically,” explains Green.  “So he has to start 30 seconds behind the celebrities.  He could still win it, but it would take the fastest guys in the front making that many mistakes, and him making none.

“Adrien Brody is really fast.  Jesse McCartney is fast.  Adam Carolla’s fast.”

And Brian Austin Green?  “I’m happy with the way I’m progressing.  I think it’s going to be completely up to the position I end up in after the qualifying runs.  If I get in the top four, I think I’ll be in the fight.”  The field of 18 celebs also includes Patrick Dempsey, Christian Slater, and Patrick Warburton.

Brian’s girlfriend, the fantastic Megan Fox, will be there to cheer him on.  He’s assured her, “It’s surprisingly safe.  When I did the race 13 years ago, I totaled a car in practice, but because of all the safety features, I got out of the car and felt fine.”

Last year, Green was talking about doing the race again, but it turned out that with his “Sarah Connor Chronicles” production schedule, he couldn’t commit to the required amount of training time.  “So we said, ‘Next year,’ and here I am,” he relates.

He’s gone from sci fi to a 1932 period piece with his April 24 telefilm, “The Wild Girl,” based on the 2005 novel, “The Wild Girl: The Notebooks of Ned Giles, 1932,” written by Jim Fergus.  It tells of a mission undertaken by an unlikely collection of wealthy Americans and the Mexican army, to rescue the kidnapped son of a rich Mexican landowner from a rogue Apache group – and the complications that ensue when they come across a wild Apache girl.

“I really enjoyed my character.  Coming off ‘Sarah Connor,’ where I played a bold, commanding type person, I was excited by the possibility of playing an understated guy who lacked confidence, which is sort of what he finds throughout the story.  It’s not a  typical Hallmark Channel movie,” Brian adds.

THE CONTROVERSY LINGERS:  Allen Iverson has been a controversial figure throughout his professional basketball career, but never more than after a racially charged incident in high school where he and his friends got into a huge fight with some white teenagers.  “Allen and his friends, who were also black, were charged.  No whites were charged,” recounts filmmaker Steve James, who is from the same hometown, Hampton, VA.  “It blew up into this big trial and became this town’s OJ trial before the OJ thing happened.  It was this polarizing moment where you either supported Allen or you did not.”  James explores the incident on a more personal level in his newest film “No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson,” premiering tonight (4/13) on ESPN as part of their “30 for 30” film series.  “I interviewed more than 30 people, but there were people who didn’t want to participate, including Allen Iverson.  I didn’t expect him to participate, though, because of what it’s about.  We did talk to a lot of people who were close to him growing up,” he explains.

When asked if the people in Hampton are still affected by the incident, James responds, “The city has moved on but they haven’t forgotten.  I found feelings to still be very strong about what happened.  Allen has gone on to be a very polarizing figure in the world of sports.  He’s one of those athletes that people love or hate.  His persona has made it harder for people to forget because they’re constantly reminded of what happened when he’s had these brushes with the law throughout his career.  He’s gotten in enough trouble over the years that it continues to fuel that debate about Allen Iverson.” James says his only goal is to make people more aware so these kinds of things so they don’t happen again.  “I hope it challenges people to think about race issues.  Even though it happened years ago, it’s still something that is important today.”

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW:  Some of the most intriguing prospects coming up this pilot season include Debra Messing, playing a conservative pundit (!) who’s written a book called “Democrap” (don’t know you know Ann Coulter will be sorry she didn’t think of that title first?) in ABC’s prospective comedy “Right Vs. Wrong” – with a cast that also includes…Carrie Fisher.

Then there’s pop singer/actress Katharine McPhee, showing up in an NBC pilot called “The Pink House” about a couple of show business wannabes who migrate to West Coast and rent a place right on the beach, intent on making their dreams come true.

And AMC has its “The Walking Dead” zombie series tottering ever so inexorably our way, starring Andrew Lincoln of the big screen “Love, Actually.”  It’s drawn from Robert Kirkman’s comic book series about survivors of an apocalypse that’s turned everyone else into zombies.  Something tells us it’s the right time for this show.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster