Story by: Tal Peer & Roy Fire
Jesse Metcalfe has been the pretty boy of the big and small screen in the past few years.
His obsession with fantasy, escapism and storytelling started in movie theaters in the mid 80's. Metcalfe's father took him to a lot of thought provoking films at an early age. 'The Breakfast Club,' Some Kind of Wonderful,' 'Platoon,' 'Wall street,'. The little boy would leave the cinema profoundly impacted: sad, scared, exhilarated, inspired. It was as early as 6 years old when Metcalfe knew he wanted to be a part of that dream world. He wanted to be just like his heroes: John Hughes and Oliver Stone. Metcalfe went to film school, Tisch at New York University, this is where it all began.
We remember him as John Rowland on Desperate Housewives, on Passions and in John Tucker Must Die. Metcalfe's last roll as Christopher Ewing in the TNT continuation of Dallas, got him great reviews. Now that Dallas will not continue for another season we wanted to know what's next for the talented and so handsome actor.
We meet Metcalfe in the Dream hotel in New York during NY Fashion Week. Metcalfe loves fashion and is very particular with his style.
How would you define your personal style?
Ever evolving. Often dependent on my mood. I don't define myself by what I wear, but like to use fashion as a means of expressing how I'm feeling...or perhaps how I want to be perceived. I don't subscribe to any one subculture and I like I feel free to wear whatever I like and not be beholden to one "style." I love subtle and interesting twists on classic menswear as well as more edgy, experimental street style, but personally, I stay away from anything too "trendy." I have an immense amount of respect for the art form of fashion design and styling.
I've used stylists in the past, but found that establishing my own esthetic was essential and much easier without one.
Obviously, wardrobe is a powerful tool an actor can use to help build and define a character. But actors also use fashion to mold their image, if they're smart. Being in the public eye we're critiqued on how they look24/7. Some shy away from this responsibly, maybe turned off by the pressure and perceived "superficiality," and others embrace it. I'd like to consider myself one of the people that embraces it.
How was your visit in NY fashion Week, what shows did you see and what inspired you?
New York always inspires me, but the city during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week feels like the epicenter of the world. I love soaking up all that cool, creative energy. The shows, the parties, the scene. And it's always great to be able to support the designers that have supported you over the years, some of which I'm lucky enough to call friends. Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Lacoste, Todd Snyder. But I have to say my favorite show was Public School's. Those guys are blowing up and redefining New York Street style. It was one of the hottest tickets of the week, but they're two of the most down to earth local boys you'll ever meet. It's always great to see people in the fashion industry keeping some soul in their success.
What's next for you?
I'm about to start shooting a film based on the bestselling Capcom video game franchise 'Dead Rising.' I was already a huge fan of the game and I'm definitely excited to be a part of this world. I'm playing the title character, Chase Carter, a reporter who emulates Frank West (the original game's protagonist), and needless to say to all you gamers out there, he's caught in the next zombie outbreak. The story's a poignant social comment on humanity. The character's got a great arch and the script plays homage to all four games. I think the fans are really going to have fun with it.
Do you see yourself as a sex symbol?
I see myself as a lot things, and in a lot of different ways. Human beings are complicated creatures and that's what makes them so beautiful and so fascinating. Superficial labels like that can be very limiting. I guess that's part of how I'm perceived, but it's certainly not the way in which I identify myself, or an idea I walk around with everyday. But there is a lot of power in being desired. And a lot of what we do in this industry is about fantasy fulfillment. If I embody that fantasy for someone out there, then I guess I'm doing my job.
Do you think that your look is an obstacle? Does being beautiful in Hollywood only get you rolls as a pretty boy?
I've had to combat that 'pretty boy' moniker a bit in my career, much like many other actors have early in theirs. Clooney, Pitt, Depp. They've all struggled with it and are now revered for work, even considered great 'character actors.' It can be done, but you have to be fully committed to your craft and willing to really go there with your characters. And you have to be resilient. The struggle is more about other people's perceptions of your range, largely based on the roles you've played. But at the end of the day, you always have to prove you're more than people give you credit for. I'm up to the task!
What charities are you involved with?
Well I work with UNICEF quite a bit and just did my first field visit to Botswana, Africa in April. They do amazing humanitarian work all over the world focusing mostly on children in need. It was incredibly inspiring to see what they do first hand, and rewarding to be a small part of helping to raise awareness for the people struggling in this region. I hope to continue and deepen my work with UNICEF. Also, while in Texas for the last 3 years, I've headed the celebrity board for the North Texas Food Bank which works under the umbrella of Feeding America(feedingamerica.org), to provide meals to the nearly 20 percent of North Texans that are food insecure(NTFB.org). Nearly 49 million through the country are deemed food insecure, so it's a huge issue that needs further support.
What's your philosophy on life?
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And never stop growing.
Photographer Haley Ballard
Editors Roy Fire & Tal Peer
Styling Marc Sifuentes
Grooming Brittany Spyksma
Shot at Electric Room @ The Dream Hotel Downtown