Jesse Metcalfe Says 'Dancing With the Stars' Is Helping Him Lose His 'Quarantine 15' (Exclusive)

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Jesse Metcalfe may be best known for playing the hunky gardener on Desperate Housewives and the dreamy titular character in John Tucker Must Die. But just like many of us, the 41-year-old actor admits he hasn't totally been on top of his health and fitness game amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While speaking with ET via Zoom this week, Metcalfe opened up about his upcoming debut on season 29 of Dancing With the Stars, and how rehearsals for the show are already whipping him back into tip-top shape.

"I'm incredibly excited. A bit nervous, because I don't have any dance experience. I don't consider myself a dancer by any stretch of the imagination," Metcalfe admitted to ET's Lauren Zima. "But I've always been a fan of the show. I've actually been asked in two previous seasons to be a part of Dancing With the Stars, and I didn't feel the timing was right."

"But I feel we're in a completely different landscape within the entertainment industry right now," he continued. "With social media, TikTok and YouTube stars doing big movies, I sort of feel like the crossover between scripted and unscripted is more palatable. People aren't looking down on it; it's not necessarily going to affect your career negatively. And I've always had a lot of admiration for the art of dance. If I can leave this show with a new skill set, I feel like it's something that's going to help me in my career."

Like his competitors, Metcalfe has quickly realized, however, that ballroom dancing is no easy skill to tackle. On top of that, he's aware he needs to be prepared for all of the spray tans, sequins and shirtless moments to come throughout the duration of his time in the competition.

"Listen, I'm not gonna lie, I was a victim of the quarantine 15," he joked, of gaining some extra pounds the past few months. "So coming into rehearsals, I still had a little extra pandemic weight on me."

"But I am leaning up fast," he added. "I mean, dancing is hard. Seriously. So at this rate, yeah, might get the [shirt] off if the dance warrants it. Maybe, we'll see."

Jesse Metcalfe DWTS
ABC/Frank Ockenfels

While fans will likely have to wait until later in the season for something like that to happen, Metcalfe did tease what viewers can expect from his premiere night performance on Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

"The style of the dance is Quickstep. So it's a very challenging dance right out the gate," he said. "But I'm hoping to wow people early."

"I'm going to give the people a lot of passion, a lot of commitment and I think they're going to like what they see," he added. "I think I'm going to give them what they want. I do feel like I can win this competition and my secret sauce is my work ethic."

Tune into Entertainment Tonight on Thursday for more from Metcalfe's interview.


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