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INTERVIEW: Jesse McCartney’s 7 pieces of advice on making it as an actor, musician

Has it been a hot second since you heard the name Jesse McCartney? It’s been half of a decade since his last glorious album, but McCartney is back with a brand new album, In Technicolor Part 1, and a new movie, Wings: Sky Force Heroes. SheKnows chatted with him about where he’s at now and what’s ahead.

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It’s been six years and a bumpy road since the release of McCartney’s third studio album, Departures. The chart-topping artist recorded his fourth album, Have It All, but soon found a record label unable or incapable of doing a proper release. With so much hard work out the window, many performers would throw in the towel. McCartney got back in the studio, though, and tried again. Will any of those unreleased songs appear on the new album or will we hear him deal with any unresolved issues over Have It All?

“No — we started new and fresh and started a new sound and feel,” McCartney said. He added, “I think as an artist it’s important to move on from what was happening years ago and create something new to match the place and time they are currently living in. I liked the songs of Have It All when we created them, but I like the songs from In Technicolor and what they mean to me now.”

After such a rough experience, we were curious if McCartney had any takeaways from the drama behind Have It All. Has he changed in those six years? McCartney shared that (hopefully) he’s gotten older and wiser since then. Since he’s been through a fairly common occurrence within the industry, we wondered if it left him jaded, but he’s definitely moved on.

If you need proof that McCartney is a true go-getter — willing to put it all out there and let go when need be — just look at his entire career. At 27, McCartney already has a hefty and impressive resume. In the late ’90s, McCartney landed a recurring role on the soap All My Children. Soon after, he decided to try his hand at music, he pushed forth “Beautiful Soul” — a single that put McCartney on the charts and in everyone’s heads in 2003. Since then, he’s tackled working alongside Anne Hathaway in Ella Enchanted, put in a stellar performance on Army Wives and so much more. That never-give-up mentality is one he stands behind when offering advice to anyone interested in playing in the entertainment game.

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“Everyone has a different journey,” McCartney said. “But I’d say find out what you are really best at and move to where the door opens. Walk through that door and see what is on the other side. Be diligent and surround yourself with talented and wise people. Keep your feet on the ground. Make hard choices wisely. And don’t be afraid. Just do it.”

Speaking of figuring out what you do best, that’s a lesson McCartney also helps offer up in his new movie, Wings: Sky Force Heroes. When a cocky, young rescue plane, Ace, goes against orders, he inadvertently causes a disaster and soon begins questioning whether he was truly meant to be a rescue plane or not. After embarking on a journey of self-discovery, though, Ace realizes he had it right all along.

McCartney voices T-Bone, an equally cocky, but infinitely more grumpy antagonist. McCartney is a pretty lighthearted guy. As a matter of fact, our favorite voice-over work from him has been as the supremely sweet Terence in all of Disney’s Never Fairy movies. We asked him how he prepared for the role of T-Bone, and he teased that he skipped his coffee and wore prickly underwear that day. We believe him.

But after spending so much time with other people on set and on tour, what does McCartney do to keep the lonely studio feeling as close to home as possible?

“I bring in a nice iced coffee and crank up the air conditioning, dim the lights and huddle in,” McCartney shared.

Is it unprofessional to say we’d like to be invited to huddle up with him? We’ll be good… ish.

Wings: Sky Force Heroes is out on DVD on Tuesday, July 8, and In Technicolor Part 1 releases on Tuesday, July 22. We’ll be here — listening to the album and dreaming of studio time.

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