It’s All Saints’ Day, and New York’s East Village is still littered with the drunken remains of Halloween costumes from the night before — a lost mask here, a discarded wig there — looking pretty scary in the bright sunlight. But Joe Jonas, the Jonas Brothers’ hair-raising heartthrob, had already won Halloween a few days before the annual Village Parade by dressing up as Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials for a house party in Brooklyn.
“I rode my Citi bike [to the party]and it was pretty funny because I think some people were like, ‘What’s happening here?'” says Jonas, who looks like a boy band freak after recovering from his Halloween drag frenzy.
“I actually had the wig on all night, even when I got a little warm at 2 am I was like, ‘No, you have to stay here in character!’ Who doesn’t love Flo you know? I’m waiting for my free insurance from Progressive, but we’ll see if that happens.”
Today Jonas is playing a different kind of disguise for his Alexa cover shoot – this time in Gucci, Versace and Moschino. But he’s as committed to couture as he rocks to a disco soundtrack. “When it comes to style, I want to know that I can wear it with confidence,” says Jonas, who actually brings his own swag to funky fashion.
It’s all in the name of promoting his first big screen role in Devotion, a Korean War drama whose cast includes Lovecraft Country star Jonathan Majors and Top Gun: Maverick breakout Glen Powell.
Jonas, who’s 33 but looks at least a decade younger in person, plays real-life Navy hero Marty Goode in the Oscar-baiting movie (in theaters now). It was a chance for the singer to pursue a long-buried love of acting, which he hasn’t been able to fully explore since 2005 during the non-stop JoBros grind. And trust – that’s a far cry from “Camp Rock”.
“Acting is a big passion of mine,” he tells Alexa. “I did acting when I was younger, but that was years ago. Immersing myself in a character and surrounding myself with great actors has always been something I loved, but I really didn’t have the time to say, ‘Great, yeah, that sounds great. So when is your movie? OK, I don’t know where I’ll be at this point.’ ”
Ironically, it was the pandemic lockdown that gave him the opening he needed. “Of course the touring would be discontinued,” he recalls. “And me and the brothers said, ‘Okay, well, we’re all going to do what we have to do, take care of our families and be home. And that gave me time to do something I’ve been passionate about for years and put myself on tape, meet directors, meet producers, meet writers and just market myself.”
“Devotion,” which focuses on the connection between two Navy pilots – Tom Hundner (Powell) and Jesse Brown (Majors), the first black man to fly in combat for the US Navy – proved to be just the right passion project , to further his acting career.
“I was just blown away and kind of amazed that I didn’t know about it beforehand,” says Jonas of the story, which is based on Adam Makos’ 2015 book Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice. “And it was just a life-changing experience.”
As a longtime pop pinup, Jonas – who also lent his musical talent to the Khalid duet Not Alone, which plays in the film’s end credits – knew he had to prove himself to cast and Devotion director JD Dillard.
“It was pretty interesting to walk into the room and meet all these great actors like Jonathan Majors,” he says. “I’m like, ‘Oh, s–t, this is real. I’m not messing around here. I need to get promoted to the A-Game.’ And in the conversation I had with JD early on, I said, ‘Look, I know I’m not the first choice or first choice that you would probably go for.’ But I said, ‘Look, I’m going to work so hard for you. I’ll get to work.’”
To help him find his groove, Jonas turned to a very special acting coach: Game of Thrones star wife Sophie Turner. “She’s the most honest and toughest critic I have,” he says. “We want us to take each other on our own journey when it comes to delving into characters and roles, but I would read every scene with her…Even though I’m like, ‘Cool, that was good,’ she will.” do be like, ‘Hmmm, you can probably work more.’ But just for inspiration, it’s amazing that I live in the same household with such a brilliant actress.”
The star sweethearts, who met in 2016 after first connecting via Instagram DMs, married in 2019 and now have two children: Willa, 2, and another daughter, born in July, whose name has not yet been released . The couple share a strong bond because they grew up surrounded by the spotlight.
“We both started out pretty young,” says Jonas, who grew up in New Jersey. “But [we had] very different lifestyles from the UK and US and very different careers.” Now, having her family as a foundation helps him stay grounded in the whirlwind of showbiz. Jonas proudly gushes over his wife, calling Turner “a great life partner who I can trust and be honest with and open up to and lean on when things are very difficult for me.”
While the couple’s busy careers have taken them across the map — they were living in Savannah, Georgia when Jonas was filming Devotion — they’re now enjoying building their home in Miami. “People think there are only nightclubs and hotspots and crazy wild beaches. Of course there are, but there are also beautiful areas and quiet areas,” says Jonas, who loves to hop from the Suite Habana Cafe to the Casa Tua restaurant in Miami Beach. “And then, you know, the plus of the weather, being on the bluest water.”
Ever since the Jonas Brothers’ Disney days, the “Sucker” singer has always been a team player in the game for fame. Not having to navigate the spotlight alone helped him avoid becoming another teen star-turned-train-wreck.
“We had this crazy life we led, this fast-paced lifestyle,” reflects Jonas. “We had our struggles, we had our issues that we dealt with – things that people don’t know about – but at the end of the day we had a family. We had to look at each other and say, ‘Are you good?’ We could talk to someone. And as I got older, the wonderful benefits of therapy helped.”
And while he’s busy promoting his big holiday movie and single Not Alone, and continuing to front his Cake by the Ocean side group DNCE (they released summer hit Move in May), Jonas has no plans for his own personal group of brothers in the foreseeable future.
“I think DNCE feels the most solo to me, but never say never,” he says. “I don’t really know where my career is going to take me, but I think if I can get more out of it then at the end of the day I’ll be happy. I’m fine right now. I’ve really, really been blessed.”
Photographer: Victoria Will; Publisher: Serena French; Stylist: Anahita Moussavian; Image editing: Jessica Hober; Fashion Assistants: Madeleine Shepherd, Madison Cheng-Trpisovsky, Alycen Humphrey-Case; Groomers: Nicole Elle King at The Wall Group with Dyson and Armani Beauty; Locations: HiLot, 102 Loisaida Ave., @hilotnyc; Joyface, 104 Loisaida Ave., @joyfacenyc