In the same way Justin Timberlake transformed from Tiger Beat staple to cool guys’ guy, Jesse Metcalfe is morphing from the stuff of a teenage girl’s dreams to badass actor. Metcalfe became a household name during his six years playing the love interest of Eva Longoria’s character on Desperate Housewives when he caused Suzy Homemakers all over America to fantasize about the prospect of an illicit affair with the pool boy. Then in 2006 he was a high school heartthrob who juggled three girlfriends at once in John Tucker Must Die. Metcalfe has dated pop stars and models—hell, he was even tapped as one of People magazine’s 50 Hottest Bachelors during his precious stage. But now Jerry Bruckheimer has cast the 32-year-old as hard-boiled, gun-toting U.S. Marshal Luke Watson on NBC’s Chase, and things are changing. In the hit show, which manages to balance rhetoric on immigration law and violent thrills, Metcalfe’s character feels like the guy who will take Jack Bauer’s place in a few years. That and his tattoos make us think he’d be a great guy to have a beer with, which we did at a sports bar in Dallas.
INKED: So you escaped Hollywood for Dallas?
JESSE METCALFE: Dallas is really cool … a very welcome reprieve from Los Angeles. Being in the center of it all, the center of the entertainment industry, can wear on you a bit. You can have a whole different lifestyle out here.
And Chase brought you here. How’s shooting been?
Yes, we film around Dallas. When we first came out to Dallas, with humidity, the temperature was around 110 to 115 degrees. Chase is a very tough show to shoot, and some days we shot 15- or 16-hour days. It’s pretty tough with the choreography of the fight sequences—but pretty rewarding.