Jonas Brothers Doc Takes Fans Behind the Scenes
'Chasing Happiness' reintroduces the group after their six-year hiatus, detailing what led to the breakup in the first place and why they decided to come back together.
Fans have been ‘holding on tight, for a roller coaster ride’ that is the Jonas Brothers, Chasing Happiness documentary since they knew the siblings got the band back together. That day is finally here.
The doc follows Jonas Brothers’ career from their humble beginnings as a pastor’s kids in New Jersey to their colossal rise to fame. Between those moments are shown their economic and social trials as a family and their decision to come back together as a band six years following an abrupt breakup.
“It was an emotional thing, and it wasn't an immediate thing,” John Varvatos, an executive producer of the doc and designer who has collaborated with Nick Jonas, told The Hollywood Reporter about the band’s return at the film's Regency Bruin Theater premiere on Monday night. “[Coming back together] was a thing that over time, spending time together they realized that this is where they should be, together again. But it wasn't an immediate thing when talking, because the defenses came up about what went down when they broke up.”
The doc was directed by John Lloyd Taylor, who was Jonas Brothers’ first guitar player during their humble beginnings back in 2005, he told THR.
“I was around forever and drove them around in mini vans those first couple of years of them figuring out how to be a rock 'n' roll band, and rolling it together,” said Taylor. “Once you're in their group, you're in for life. They are just really amazing, fiercely loyal guys raised by great people who are respectful. Everything you see is what you get.”
One of Taylor’s favorite memory with the brothers, which is featured in the film, was when the band helicoptered to their performance at the Texas State Fair in 2007 and realized that 60,000 fans were waiting to watch them play.
"That was a career-changing moment for all of us. We looked at each other and said, 'Can you believe this is happening?'” Taylor told THR. “That's a moment I look back at super fondly, and that's a reason why we gave that its own little section in this movie. it was a watershed, game-changing scenario for all of us."
But Jonas Brothers' success as a music group is a mere backdrop to the main plot of the film: their bond as a family through the pressures of fame.
“If you were the biggest fan, or just a fan, or aren't even a fan, it doesn't matter. It's still a story about these three brothers, and what early fame can do to a family and the big drive to come back together to do what they love,” Amazon Studios' Jennifer Salke told THR.
Salke picked up the doc after Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra showed her a four-minute clip of what the film would eventually become. “It's so complicated with relationships, and it's really relatable and emotional, and I can't wait for all our customers to see it,” she said.
A chorus of screaming fans lined the red carpet at the pic's world premiere on Monday night. Once the brothers showed up alongside their wives, the fans began serenading the boys with their chart-topping songs “Burning Up” and “S.O.S.” to grab their attention. But even those guests walking the carpet have been longtime JoBro devotees and were not afraid to express it.
“I was just telling my best friend that besides getting engaged on Bachelor in Paradise, I think this is actually the most surreal moment of my life.” Ashley Iaconetti told THR. “On The Bachelor, when they first announced the cast of girls for Chris Soules’ season, they posted on Facebook a whole bunch of pictures, names and three fun facts about each girl. My fun fact was that I had been to 27 Jonas Brothers concerts. Now it's 29, and I'm very proud.”
Tori Kelly, a Grammy-winning singer and personal friend to the siblings, remembers attending a Jonas Brothers concert when they toured for the Disney Channel film Camp Rock.
“They were blowing up even though they were already massive at that point. I got a chance to see them and since then get to know them, and I always felt like our paths crossed, so to be here now supporting this documentary is awesome. I feel like a proud sister or something,” Kelly told THR.
Kelly is currently working on another album, but fans may not know that she and Nick worked together on some music in the past, but never released it. When asked if she would ever work professionally with Jonas Brothers, she said, “I'm down to do something with them, for sure. Maybe we'll talk about it tonight. We'll see!”
Following the screening, Jonas Brothers held a private concert for premiere attendees, reprising classics like “S.O.S” and “Burning Up,” as well as performing their fresh singles “Sucker” and “Cool.”
“They are still the same-old guys, but they've grown into considerate, patient, really grateful adults,” Taylor told THR. “Everything they have been through has instilled a lot of gratitude in these guys, to have another shot and then another shot. It's quite amazing to see them where they are in their lives now with the relationships they have and what they've grown into.”
Jonas Brothers, Chasing Happiness was made by Philymack and Federal Films in association with Polygram Entertainment and Amazon Studios. It is available for fans to stream now on Amazon Prime Video. Jonas Brothers will also be releasing their comeback album, Happiness Begins, on Friday.