Jesse Metcalfe is a Hollywood heartthrob, a beloved Hallmark staple, and a Dancing with the Stars graduate. He’s also just a down-to-earth, genuine guy who likes to spend some of his nights at home watching rom coms, snacking on Cheez-its’ Loaded Popcorn.
Recently, we got a chance to catch up with Metcalfe and chat about his ongoing Hallmark projects, his takeaways from being on DWTS, his life outside of the spotlight and his partnership with Cheez-its. Read on below for the rundown on Metcalfe and what he’s been up to in our exclusive interview.
HEAVY: So, tell me about A Beautiful Place to Die: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery.
Metcalfe: Well, the Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries are a series of movies I do for Hallmark. It’s actually Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, their mystery channel. They’re based on a series of pretty hilarious books that follow my character, Jeff Jackson, who’s a retired police detective out of Boston, gets shot in the line of duty and takes early retirement on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s a really fun series of movies. The characters are humorous and sarcastic and a little rough around the edges. It’s pretty layered story-telling for Hallmark. I’m also an executive producer on these projects, so I get to be a part of every facet on these movies. We just finished production on the fourth installment of the Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries and this one’s called A Vineyard Poisoning.
HEAVY: Ooh, nice.
Metcalfe: Yeah! Actually A Beautiful Place to Die: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery was the first movie, so we just completed the fourth! They love doing these movies and Hallmark is just a great partner.
HEAVY: I feel like, not just with their fans, but even with the actors, Hallmark is like a big family.
Metcalfe: You know, they make a lot of content, but they definitely take care of their creators and their actors. People love their movies and are known for their Christmas movies, but their other genres are also entertaining. They do what they do well. A testament to that is that a lot of other platforms are trying to copy what they do.
HEAVY: I gotcha. Well, a lot of people enjoy Hallmark for their nights at home and I know you’re involved in a project that pairs well with that …
Metcalfe: Yes. (Laughs.)
HEAVY: So, the Cheez-its Loaded Popcorn, what does it taste like?
Metcalfe: It’s a great opportunity with Cheez-its and they’ve come out with a new popcorn, with two flavors – cheddar and white cheddar. It’s only available for a limited time and, I am not lying to you when I tell you this is literally the best cheese popcorn I’ve ever tasted in my life. I’m a big popcorn fan and a big snack fan in general. I have a difficult time not snacking. The fact that most people can’t go to the cinema in the United States anymore, you kind of have to create that movie-going experience at home, for yourself. And, popcorn is the quintessential snack and Cheez-its hit it out of the park with this one. It’s addictive. You can’t stop eating it.
HEAVY: Aside from snacking, how did you get involved with Cheez-its?
Metcalfe: They actually reached out to me and they’ve seen I’ve done a lot of rom coms in my day. They thought that partnering with me as a spokesperson for “cheezy cinema” and rom coms would be a good fit. And, I’m happy to represent the product, especially after I tasted it.
HEAVY: What’s one of your favorite rom coms that you’ve done?
Metcalfe: I did a really fun rom com called The Other End of the Line, where I starred opposite a very famous Bollywood actress named Shriya Saran. I got to shoot half of the movie in India and half in San Francisco. It was just a really incredible experience for me and eye-opening. What an incredible city, Mumbai. Experience-wise, that was probably one of the best for me. I mean, I love shooting rom coms. It’s something that as a viewer, everyone can relate to. It’s easy to, as an actor, get into that type of story-telling. Love relationships are really what drive human beings. It’s the most important thing in our lives.
HEAVY: So, are rom coms, then, your favorite to watch? What are you usually watching at home?
Metcalfe: I consider myself a movie buff, so I love all genres of movies, but rom coms are definitely a not-so-guilty pleasure. I’m not afraid to have a good cry when I watch a movie. (He laughs.) Ya know, I don’t care. I mean that’s why we watch movies. We want escapism, we want to feel something … I mean, my favorite romantic movie of all time is probably The Notebook.
HEAVY: Yeah, of course, right? I feel like you can’t watch that without crying.
Metcalfe: It’s impossible.
HEAVY: So, besides watching rom coms during the pandemic, you were also competing on Dancing with the Stars and you were awesome!
Metcalfe: Oh, thank you so much. I wish I could have stayed around longer. I gave it my all.
HEAVY: Yeah! You were great! What was it like being paired with a fan-favorite like Sharna Burgess?
Metcalfe: Wow, I mean, Sharna is an incredible dancer. She’s a powerful presence, a very soultry and seductive dancer. She has an innate sexiness to her that comes through whenever she dances … Learning these dances was not easy. It was challenging and there were highs and lows during that process. But, I wouldn’t have changed a thing and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.
HEAVY: What would you say is your biggest takeaway from that experience?
Metcalfe: Hmm … I would say that my biggest takeaway is learning how challenging dancing really is. Maybe much like acting, I think the average person doesn’t realize how difficult of an artform it is.
HEAVY: So, would you ever do another competition show?
Metcalfe: You know, I’m not a big reality TV guy, to be honest. I’m a big fan of authenticity. So, if the reality show is very authentic, which I think Dancing with the Stars is, much like American Idol … I think that’s a really cool reality show because these are people’s dreams we’re talking about. We had some contestants this year that really, it was a life-long dream to be on DWTS. There’s real emotional investment there. I think that’s the ingredient that’s essential to make a reality show that has depth and meaning to it. There’s a lot of reality out there that doesn’t have that, so I’d be hesitant to do another reality show.
I mean, I do a lot of home renovations, flip a lot of properties. I’m really into architecture and interior design, so maybe something in that arena?
HEAVY: Yeah! Like an HGTV route or something … Well, you mentioned your interests, that you just finished filming, is there anything else in the mix right now?
Metcalfe: Oh yeah! I’m actually leaving at the end of this month to shoot season 5 of Chesapeake Shores, which is a series I’m on for the Hallmark Channel. It’s a great family drama where I play a country music singer and songwriter. So, I can to sing on the show, which is something I find incredibly gratifying. It’s always nice to be on season 5 of a successful series. And, there’s talk of doing Hard Kill 2 in the summer (with Bruce Willis). So, I have a couple of things in the hopper, if you will.
HEAVY: Packed schedule!
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