Nick Jonas Opens Up About Being a Former Teen Idol

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It wasn’t just luck that got the pop star through his tumultuous childhood.

Nick Jonas recently chatted with InStyle about tour life and balancing two careers — as a musician and an actor — revealing the wisdom that got him through years as a teen idol.

The 23-year-old is currently on tour with close friend Demi Lovato, whom he gushed about when reflecting on their shared past.

Working with Demi is truly unique,” Jonas said. “She’s a strong woman. A lot of people are concerned about speaking their mind, but she’s fearless. She and I have been through a lot together over the past eight years, and seeing how far she’s come, in her recovery and as a person, has been amazing.”

As for his performance style, the “Close” singer also explained why his stage act tends to avoid a lot of over-the-top fashion.

“I go for things that pop a little bit more on-stage—you gotta bring your showmanship. But I still like for everything to be within the bounds of what I wear on the street. I think it has a lot to do with splitting my time between music and acting. Being in character 12 hours a day makes you want to be yourself the rest of the time.”

Nick Jonas Poses for InStyle
CREDIT: Billy Ballard/InStyle

Few are able to pull of a successful music career and a thriving acting career. (He’s in the UFC drama Kingdom and appears in the forthcoming indie film Goat). Jonas explained that his ability to strike that balance is the result of having a job long before it crosses most people’s minds.

“Yeah, I was forced to get my act together at an early age,” he said. “Having a real job at 8 [Jonas played Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol on Broadway] sounds funny, but, you know, they really do treat you like an adult. They expect professionalism onstage and off.”

When asked how he thinks he turned out after his whirlwind childhood, the crooner implied that accepting the good and the bad that comes with stardom was the real lesson.

“For a long time I chose not to accept it—the complications that come with [fame]. The experiences we had, the kind of crazy ride we were on, were going to have some effect. But I think I turned out OK, with a reasonable amount of sanity.”