With a role on "Army Wives," new music and a tour, Jesse McCartney is having a busy year.
The actor and singer recently spoke to OTRC.com correspondent Tony Cabrera about joining The Backstreet Boys for their "In A World Like This Tour," starting on Aug. 2 in Chicago. McCartney also chatted about his new music, how preparing for his role on "Army Wives" was life-changing and his charitable work with City of Hope.
Check out five highlights from McCartney's interview with us below and watch clips from his interview above.
1. He's toured with The Backstreet Boys before.
"I toured with The Backstreet Boys -- I think it was 2005 -- over in Europe. We did a couple of shows, a few shows together and it was an amazing experience," he said. "Those guys have had a heck of a career. They've been touring forever."
McCartney later added, "It's been a while, but they're just like a great bunch of guys. You know, I had a chance to hang out with Nick and AJ a bunch. It's amazing that they've been able to have such a, you know, a long career and they're still normal guys and just really nice to everyone. So, you know, like I said, it will be a lot of fun to get back out there and share a stage with them."
2. He's introducing three new songs on tour.
"It's been I don't know, four years since I put out an album and I think the new direction people are gonna hear is definitely a little bit more throw back," McCartney explained. "It has kind of this late '70s, early '80s kind of dance disco sound to it. Big influences were people like Michael Jackson, of course, and Prince. And it's just a lot of feel good music."
On his new song, called "Back Together," McCartney said, "[It's] one of my favorites off the EP we're putting out. Really just a feel good song and you can hear elements of, you know, the late '70s, early '80s in the track."
3. Preparing for his 'Army Wives' role was life-changing.
"The top of this year I was in South Carolina for about five months. I was working on a show called 'Army Wives.' It was in its seventh season, they brought me in. I played a young Army recruit straight out of high school who gets shipped over to Afghanistan to fight and, really sweet kid," McCartney said of his character on the show. "Just happy to be there. Trying to make friends with everyone. Doesn't really know quite what he's doing, but he just knows he wants to fight for his country."
McCartney's character,Tim Truman, goes through a traumatic experience during the war and begins to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
"I got to sit down with a lot of ex-military who have actually struggled with PTSD and I heard some unbelievable stories that were kind of life-changing," he said about preparing for his role. "It was great to really shed some light on an issue like this, 'cause I feel like most of America doesn't realize what these soldiers go through and that most of the time the war really starts when they come home."
4. He co-wrote one song with Hot Chelle Rae that he ended up using himself.
"I've been doing a lot of writing, mainly for myself, trying to finish up this -- what seems to be never ending album, but I have been working with some other artists," McCartney, who co-wrote the Leona Lewis hit "Bleeding Love," said about his songwriting career. "I just got out of the studio with Hot Chelle Rae, another pop act that's been on the scene for a few years. Great group of guys, amazing song writers as well."
"Funny little anecdote. About two, three months ago we were in there writing another song for their album and we finished it. [It] seemed like a song that I wanted for my record, and we went to them and we were like, 'Hey, you think maybe I can have this song?' And they were cool about it," he said. "This sounds way more soulful and sort of old school, kind of what you're going for. So we actually -- I kept the song for myself and that's one of the songs I'm playing on this tour."
5. McCartney works closely with City of Hope, a California-based research, treatment and education facility that specializes in helping patients fight cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.
"City of Hope is an amazing organization. I started working with them -- I wanna say in 2005 or 2006," he explained. He later added, "They're the, one of the leading treatment facilities and research facilities for kids who suffer from diseases like cancer and diabetes. I met a bunch, over the years, a bunch of amazing kids."
"I try to go visit the hospitals as much as I can and sometimes we have them come out to some of the shows," he added. "I know a few years back Miley [Cyrus] and I did a big show to raise funds for the organization. I think we raised over a million dollars which was really nice."
Reporting by Tony Cabrera, correspondent for KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).