Guff Interview: Joe Jonas Talks About His New Show, 'I Can Do That'


The new NBC series I Can Do That lets celebrities tackle talents that aren't in their repertoire. So singers like Joe Jonas and Ciara learn to perform magic with Penn and Teller, and that's only one week's task. Other celebrities train with the Harlem Globetrotters, and so on. Jonas spoke with reporters about his new exploits and Guff was there to ask about his magic and music, and listen in when others pressed him about his love life. Tune in to I Can Do That Tuesdays at 10 on NBC to see if there's anything this Jonas brother can't do.

Q: So you did the Penn and Teller challenge. Were you interested in magic before that opportunity?

Joe Jonas: Yeah, I really was. I never expected to do magic. I was a huge fan of Penn and Teller. I'm a huge fan of magic. I've gone to The Magic Castle many times. And then it was just the situation where you're thrown into it and right when they walked out, I ran up the steps. I was so excited. I worked with Ciara on that one and it was a dream come true.

Q: You're a performer who shows the audience everything you're doing. How big an adjustment was it learning sleight of hand and illusions?

JJ: I'm not very good at keeping a secret. Ciara can tell you, she got mad at me because I would tell the cast how everything's done which I know is the code of silence for a magician. But when you're having that much fun, it's hard to keep it in.

Q:That's part of Penn and Teller's schtick though. They reveal the secrets.

JJ: Penn and Teller are geniuses. I became close with the guys so I went to their show in Vegas. It was a real dream come true. This is kind of what the show is all about. I'm thrown into these scenarios where I have a dream bucket list that I know is not a reality and I'm literally crossing them off by working with people, working with different acts. For me it's music and acting. Now my list of things that I've been able to do in the last month are long.

Q: What's something you can do that we'd be surprised to know?

JJ: I'm pretty amazing at balancing things for some strange reason. I can balance anything, this chair, bikes. On my hand. I haven't done it on the show yet but I'm crossing my fingers that eventually I'll be able to do something.

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With Cheryl Burke and one of the legendary Harlem Globetrotters,Getty Images

Q:There are a lot of singers on I Can Do That. Do all you singers share a certain skill set, and does that give you an advantage over others?

JJ: I kind of went into this show thinking that my talents would be strengths, but I only sang once. And I had to sing in a character voice. The truth is, you think you know that you're going to be able to do things really well but you're thrown in these positions where you're like, okay, I've never done this, or I think I kind of can do this. But it's a completely different version of what they do.

Q: What's the hardest thing you've done on I Can Do That?

JJ: The challenge that I did this week, I have bruises up and down. Unfortunately I can't say exactly what it was but it was a skill set that I had prior to this. But then I never expected it to be that crazy and that intense.

Q: Is there an act you did on I Can Do That that you'd like to do after the show ends?

JJ: Yeah, there's a lot. I think there's some really exciting stuff that I think I'd never been able to do before that I want to continue trying. It's something that at a party I'll be able to pick up and it'll be fun.

Q: What advice would you give to a band like One Direction that is going through a change right now?

JJ: You know, I think it's more for an audience, not necessarily the band. I think we're all human. There are so many twists and turns. Look, I went through it myself. Nick, my brother, tweeted it the other day. You sometimes have to go through some tough decisions to find true happiness. I stand behind him with that. We're so happy. We're closer than we've ever been and I think, look, they're going through their thing. I don't know any of their business but all I can say is it's not easy. You're under scrutiny. You're under a spotlight and to live a normal free life is difficult. To want to be a kid and want to grow up and to find normalcy in the craziness.

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Q: Have you found anybody in your life?

JJ: No, right now I'm just focusing on me and that's been nice. I've been able to have a lot of time. Music, this show, I've had my fingers in a lot of different things so I've been busy.

Q: What do you look for in somebody?

JJ: I think my life's crazy. It's crazy busy. I'm always doing something different. I think somebody that can probably keep up and I think has their own thing going for them probably.

Q: What other things are you doing besides the show?

JJ: I've been working on some music. I've been in the studio a lot. I've had the opportunity to work with [Ciara]. I've done a remix of her song. It's really exciting to be part of it. The song "I Bet." Also I'm a partner in a restaurant that just opened a few days ago in Venice. It's called Hinterland.

Q: How involved are you in the restaurant?

JJ: I'm involved as much as I can be. It's a new world for me.

Q: What type of food does Hinterland serve?

JJ: I don't know the exact terminology, because my partners will say it better than me, but I would say it's a lot of fish. We're obviously right next to the water so you're going to see a lot of shellfish, a lot of fresh great stuff. I think really party food as well. I think people are really going to like it.

Q: What's your favorite dish at Hinterland?

JJ: We have this grilled octopus dish that's pretty exciting.

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What we imagine the dish to be,Serious Eats

Q: Now that you're an uncle, do you think about having a family of your own?

JJ: I'm very comfortable just being an uncle right now.

Q: What can you cook?

JJ: I can make a mean popcorn. Microwave. Old school.

Q: Who's more likely to get married first, you or Nick?

JJ: Oh man, ask me in a few years. I don't know.

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