Jesse Metcalfe Recalls Going To Extreme Physical Lengths For 'John Tucker Must Die'

Metcalfe's claims were backed by co-stars Sophia Bush and Arielle Kebbel, who said that the 2006 movie was “rough in terms of body image” for all involved.
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As he contemplates reprising his iconic character from “John Tucker Must Die,” Jesse Metcalfe is opening up about the intense physical pressure he experienced when he first played the part nearly 20 years ago.

“You guys have no idea,” Metcalfe told fans during a Sunday appearance at Epic Cons Chicago, an entertainment convention. “I was not eating, and I was working out three times a day.”

The actor noted that he would hit the gym “anytime that I was not on set,” adding, “I was taking it pretty darn seriously.”

Directed by Betty Thomas, “John Tucker Must Die” is a modernized take on Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” The comedy follows a trio of teenage girls (played by Ashanti, Sophia Bush and Arielle Kebbel) who enlist a shy classmate (Brittany Snow) to help them publicly humiliate their high school’s star basketball player, John Tucker (Metcalfe), after learning that he’s been secretly dating all three of them.

Jesse Metcalfe is shown at the 2006 premiere of "John Tucker Must Die" in Los Angeles.
Jesse Metcalfe is shown at the 2006 premiere of "John Tucker Must Die" in Los Angeles.
Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images

One of the movie’s most memorable scenes involves John stripping down to a pair of lacy thong underwear in hopes of seducing one of the girls in a hotel during an out-of-town game, only to end up in a teacher’s room by mistake.

Metcalfe’s claims about his on-set fitness regimen were supported by Bush and Kebbel, who agreed on Sunday that the movie was “rough in terms of body image” for everyone involved.

Released at the peak of Metcalfe’s “Desperate Housewives” fame, “John Tucker Must Die” earned mixed reviews when it premiered in 2006, with Rolling Stone calling it “a timid, screamingly unfunny rip-off of Heathers.” Still, it was a modest hit at the box office, raking in a reported $68 million worldwide.

Kebbel confirmed at Epic Cons Chicago that a screenplay for a long-planned sequel to the film had been written, and that it involves “all of the OG cast.” As for John’s storyline, she noted that the character “may or may not get a chance to change, which would be very exciting.”

Though Metcalfe said he hadn’t seen the script just yet, he said he was very excited by the prospect of an on-screen reunion. But he noted that he’d be embracing a less stringent routine this time around.

“I can’t wait to unleash this dad bod on the big screen,” he quipped.

Watch the trailer for “John Tucker Must Die” below.

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