The Daily Aztec

Nick Jonas welcomes us to the jungle in ‘Jumanji’

Courtesy of Sony and Columbia Pictures

Courtesy of Sony and Columbia Pictures

by Kelly Kerrigan, Staff Writer

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In 1995 one of the most well known movies of all time was released that detailed the story of an intricate board game that absorbs its players into the world of Jumanji, a dangerous jungle filled with wild animals and frightening obstacles.

Now in 2017 Columbia pictures and Sony envisioned a new take on the game and continued the story of the cinema classic.

In the upcoming film “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” four high school students are forced to clean out their school’s old basement during detention when one of them discovers an old video game console. The students each select an avatar to be in the game, but before they know it, they are sucked into the game and now physically look like the characters they picked.

Comedic stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Kevin Hart take on the roles of these high school students by acting as they would if they were stuck in the jungle.

The four must survive the game in order to make it out alive but with the help of Alex, a character who has been stuck in the game for a long time, finding an escape seems possible.

Popular singer, actor and now Golden Globe nominee Nick Jonas takes on the role of Alex in the film.

“Finding a way to tell a new Jumanji adventure, a new story, is something that felt fresh and something that was able to take this beloved classic and introduce it to a brand new audience,” Jonas said. “That’s challenging, but if you get it right it can be incredibly rewarding.”

Jonas’ character Alex brings a stable ground to the adventure comedy.

“I think the thing I was drawn to about this role is in this really funny film that also has amazing action, I had the opportunity to bring emotional ground to it with this character,” he said.  “Then the chance to get to work with these actors—this is really an incredible group of people all on top of their game.”

Something else Nick and Alex both having in common?

Their fear of flying, which is ironic because the character Alex is a pilot.

Once the characters are submerged into the video game they learn that each has different strengths and weaknesses, with Johnson’s character having no weaknesses at all.

However Jonas does not come without weaknesses.

“In my own life I’ve been thinking a lot about what my strengths and weaknesses would be if I had to categorize it like a video game and I think I would say my strength would be I am very driven, very focused and my weakness would be I get in my head sometimes and kind of over think things and I think I could learn to just chill out a little bit.”

The group of actors spent their time in Hawaii while filming in the beautiful terrain, but also dealing with the wildlife that comes with it. Jonas said next time he plans to pack more bug spray.

While talking about time on set, Jonas said he and Johnson were entertained by hiding bugs in Hart’s room and video taping his reactions.

Jonas recently was honored with a Golden Globe nomination for his song “Home” in the new film “Ferdinand” while on the same day he attended his first big Hollywood premiere for “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”

“That day was one of the craziest days of my life,” he said. “I’m still having new experiences and days like that where I wake up to a dream of mine coming true and close the day with another dream coming true.”

The new movie was rated 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and so far has received many appraising reviews about the fresh take of original plot that features actor Robin Williams.

“Everyone has a connection to it, to Robin Williams, his legacy, his brilliance and I think that’s why we really approached this with a lot of care,” Jonas said.

The film hits theaters Dec. 20 for audiences of all ages to enter the dangerous adventure that is “Jumanji.”

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