Movies

Jonas aimed to do new Jumanji justice

Actor-singer Nick Jonas gets physical and learns how to operate a flying vehicle for follow-up film

On his role in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, actor-singer Nick Jonas said: "I would say that this was a more action-led thing than anything else I have done."

The movie, which is now showing, is a thrilling action piece set in the dangerous realm of Jumanji, charting the adventure of five unlikely heroes who go on a perilous journey to restore a jewel to the eye of a statue that lies deep in the jungle.

In doing so, they will lift a long-standing curse and earn the right to return home safely.

Along the way, they come face to face with animals including man-eating hippos and vicious, sharp-toothed jaguars.

"Jack Black and I had a scene with some jaguars, and while we were filming that scene we were interacting with a stuffed animal," said Jonas.

"We knew in the film there was going to be a big exciting CGI (computer-generated imagery) moment but all that we saw was the stuffed animals. That was very funny."

Jonas enters the movie after the four other characters played by Black, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Kevin Hart have begun their adventure.

He stars as Jefferson Seaplane, a daredevil pilot who helps the heroes escape some unpleasant bad guys.

The film is a follow-up to the original 1995 Jumanji movie, starring Robin Williams.

"In addition to all that physical action, I had to get my head around how to operate a flying vehicle, whether it was the plane or helicopter," Jonas, 25, added.

It is such an iconic movie and a beloved film... Nick Jonas on the original Jumanji movie

"They gave me a little training, a quick crash course - no pun intended - on how to go about looking as though I knew what I was doing.

"The fun part of these acting jobs is that you become a different person for a period of time and learn a different skill set. I do not think I could actually fly a helicopter or a plane after doing this film, but if there was an emergency situation, maybe I could figure something out."

Jonas had already done some fight training for a role he had on the TV show Kingdom.

"On Jumanji, there is one fight scene that I had with Bobby Cannavale, who plays the film's antagonist, and I felt quite comfortable with that," Jonas said.

But something nearly did go awry when he was thrown down a hill and there happened to be a rock right where he landed.

He said: "Luckily, I was okay, which was a relief, but I was definitely sore the next day".

Jonas is a huge fan of the original film and remembers watching it over and over again.

"The first time I watched it was at home and I watched it four or five times in one week. It really freaked me out at first and then I fell in love with it the more I watched it," he said.

Given his love for the film, Jonas was determined that the new film live up to its predecessor's reputation and is confident that the film-makers have achieved that.

"It was on all of our minds to do the original film justice," Jonas said. "It is such an iconic movie and a beloved film that there was a real focus to put the spotlight on it in a good way."

Indeed, there is a moment in the new movie that specifically references Williams' character.

Jonas said: "He in some way is guiding the four main heroes through their journey and leaving them some tools to go about the next step. It is a really great moment and the audience is going to love it."