Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle finally debuts in theaters worldwide this week, just in time for the holidays, and we had the opportunity to speak with the cast about the long-awaited sequel. In this new Jumanji adventure directed by Jake Kasdan, the classic board game becomes a ’90s video game and transports its players into the jungle itself, the same mystical place Alan Parrish (Robin Williams) found himself trapped in decades earlier.
Our closest connection to Parrish comes from Alex, played by Nick Jonas, who is able to survive in the jungle for a period of time on his own as well thanks to an old friend. You’ll have to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle yourself to learn more but we did chat with Jonas about joining the project, his favorite moments, and what he wants to see from Jumanji 3!
We also chat about the upcoming project Chaos Walking, so enjoy! And for more, check our our hilarious Jack Black-Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart interview!
What was your first reaction to reading the script and hearing the idea of a Jumanji sequel?
Nick Jonas: I was really excited. I also love the original and watched it my whole childhood, so I think I was curious like everyone else has been about what it was going to be. Seeing that it was a continuation and a new Jumanji adventure was exciting to me. I think they did a brilliant job with the writing and building out some great characters, and when I saw the character that I would play I knew kind of who he was right away and the way to approach playing him which was even enhanced once I got on set with these actors, dove in, and tried to make a great movie.
As much fun as we had making it I think the audience is going to have that much fun watching it.
In the story your character is the closest thing we have to Robin Willliams’ original character, Alan Parrish, and there’s a really nice nod to that. How important was it for you for the story to connect to the original?
Nick Jonas: I think in a lot of ways having some of those moments was really important, even for us to connect some of the dots to Jumanji and what it was, and the sort of mystical powers of the game and everything else. And so Alan Parrish was an important piece to that. For my character I think that it was a really exciting opportunity to have some of those elements. The thing that we all had to play was the youthfulness of the characters because they are in this game in their youth, and Alan Parrish had a lot of that as well, you know? It was not only fun but it was a really exciting acting opportunity.
Now that you’re part of the Jumanji jungle world, what would you like to see from the next Jumanji adventure if there could be another sequel?
Nick Jonas: Oh, I’m not sure. If there was a sequel I just hope I’d be in it. (laughs). I’m not sure but I mean, I think there are so many places you could go with this and even new characters you can introduce. I think that the brilliant thing about this story is that each one of these characters, the four main heroes, goes on an incredible journey and grow so much over the course of the hour and a half that you’re watching the film that I think I’m down to see more of that.
You’re playing a character who’s playing another character. If there is an opportunity to do this sort of thing again, what sort of character would you like to play as, since it could be someone totally different next time?
Nick Jonas: It could be. I hadn’t even thought about that. I don’t know, I think there are so many ways to go about it. It’d be funny if another actor was the guy that I would be playing. Maybe someone really distinct, maybe like if Christopher Walken became my avatar.
Oh wow, I like it!
Nick Jonas: I have to get my Christopher Walken mannerisms up.
I have a fan question from Germain Lussier on Twitter. He’s a big fan of your work and has seen you in concert many times. He asks, if you and your brothers were playing this version of Jumanji, which avatars which best fit each one of you?
Nick Jonas: Well, I’d be The Rock obviously.
Nick Jonas: Obviously.
Yeah, no doubt.
Nick Jonas: And then I think Joe would be Kevin [Hart] and Kevin would be probably my avatar.
What would you say is the best scene in the film, or at least your personal favorite?
Nick Jonas: So many! I mean I have a lot of favorite lines too but I think that when Jack [Black] discovers that he’s a middle-aged man, it’s one of my favorite scenes. And then there are so many moments throughout the whole film where I’d be in a scene and I’d have to just do all I could not to laugh because he was just really selling it. He’s really convincing as a 16 year-old girl.
(Laughs) Yes he is! For my last question, I’m a big fan of Doug Liman. He’s one of my favorites. What can you tell us about Chaos Walking?
Nick Jonas: It’s a crazy story and based off the book series. I think that it’s another one where I got to work with a director that I absolutely love and the castmates were incredible. Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, Mads Mikkelsen, the list goes on. It’s one of those things where I would look up on set every day and (laughs) go “I’m just really happy to be here.” And I think people are going to love this movie. We tried to create a really unique world and Doug is excellent at doing that in film and really bringing the audience along with the journey. I’m excited to see it myself.
In the brand new adventure Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the tables are turned as four teenagers in detention are sucked into the world of Jumanji. When they discover an old video game console with a game they’ve never heard of, they are immediately thrust into the game’s jungle setting, into the bodies of their avatars, played by Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan. What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji – Jumanji plays you. They’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, or they’ll be stuck in the game forever…
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