Whether you loved to hate him in John Tucker Must Die or fancied the F out of him as topless gardener John Rowland in Desperate Housewives, it’s probable that Jesse Metcalfe has been atop your heartthrob list at least once.
These days he’s graduated from dream boy pin-up to hard-edge actor, soon to star alongside 50 Cent, Jaime King and Sylvester Stallone in Escape Plan 2: Hades, the follow-up to the 2013 flick. Away from action blockbusters, he’s also the central character in Netflix hit Chesapeake Shores, where he gets to exercise his musical prowess, both writing and performing his own tracks for the show. *cough* there’s even an album in the making *cough*
As he continues to clock up the hits, we spent an afternoon with the actor to find out all about his latest ventures, taking people on an emotional journey, and the “classic stuff”.
Hat JESSIE WESTERN, trousers FENDI, robe CHERSTERFIELD HOTEL
Hey Jesse! What have you been up to recently?
I just shot the second season of my series Chesapeake Shores that airs on Netflix UK and Netflix Ireland. I play Trace Riley, a country music singer who returns home after a drink-driving accident that nearly paralysed his bass player. The role is a cool opportunity for me to be able to showcase that I also sing, play the guitar and write music. I actually write a lot of the music for the show, so I’ve been really enjoying that!
So, you have quite a lot of creative input?
Yeah, I have a lot of creative input definitely, and that’s not very typical on a television series. Typically, if you’re on a major network you wouldn’t have that latitude. I really love the production company that I work with and I’m really enjoying this project. The third season will start shooting in April.
I also just finished a movie with Sylvester Stallone, Dave Bautista and 50 Cent. It’s a sequel to the original Stallone/Schwarzenegger action movie Escape Plan; this one’s aptly called Escape Plan 2. I play a character called Luke, a new member of Stallone’s character’s security team. The movie is set in a super high-tech maximum-security prison, we all band together to breakout and take down the bad guys. Classic stuff.
Nice. What attracted you to that role?
Working with Sylvester Stallone! You know, sharing the screen with Sly and having quite a few scenes with him was definitely a major draw. I also loved the producers behind the project, George Furla and Randell Emmett of EFO FILMS, who are very prolific and make a lot of great movies.
And 50 Cent!
Yes! I mean I’m a big 50 Cent fan, obviously, I love his music and he’s doing big things with the show Power. He was really chill, though, very down to earth. In person anyway – his Instagram is a whole other story.
Jacket JUST CAVALLI
How do you prepare for roles?
I always create a backstory. I mean that’s like acting 101. The more you know about the world your character’s from the better you can embody that character and hopefully disappear into the role. When people say, ‘I didn’t realise that was the guy from Desperate Housewives,’ then I know I’m getting somewhere!
So other projects, what have you got lined up?
I did a small movie called In Stranger Company last year. A tiny indie that I haven’t even seen yet, but I’m hoping it’ll do something on the festival circuit. I got to work with Danny Trejo – that was cool.
What directors would you like to work with?
There’s a lot of directors I aspire to work with. I studied at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU for writing and directing so that was really my initial passion; storytelling and taking people on an emotional journey through film.
Do you see yourself directing in the future then?
Yeah, I do. I’m producing a film with my fiancé, and hopefully directing, called STEPS this year. It’s about addiction and recovery. We’re actually doing a crowdfunding innovative on Seed and Spark right now. The script is great, it’s loosely based on our experience with addiction, and some of the other stories we’ve heard and people we’ve met along the road to recovery. So we’re pretty excited about that.
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Brady Lea at Stella Creative Artists using Malin + Goetz