Originally Appeared: LA Confidential, October 26, 2015
By Cait Rohan
Fans of ‘90s boy band sensation Nick Carter undoubtedly rejoiced at the announcement that the beloved Backstreet Boy would join season 21 of Dancing with the Stars. On the show, Carter pairs his pop star moves with dance pro Sharna Burgess, and the duo has made it through eight episodes unscathed. So, how did Carter get in—and stay in—shape for the show? And, why are some of his boy band rivals joining him in his next venture? We called Carter to get the scoop on that and more.
Talk to us about the decision to participate in Dancing with the Stars.
NICK CARTER: It really started when my brother was on the show and he had done it. Right after that season, I was approached by Dancing with the Stars. They wanted me to do the show, and unfortunately and fortunately, I was on tour with the Backstreet Boys and doing albums. And so this time around we had just gotten off of our In A World Like This 20th Anniversary Tour, and we had some downtime. I called Joey Fatone, and we were talking and he’s like, “Dude you should do it. You know, it was a great experience for me, I had a lot of fun, and you learn so much. I really recommend it.” So I took his advice.
What did you eat to get in shape for Dancing with the Stars?
NC: I am still on the Fitness Kitchen program. Even before I had done Dancing with the Stars, my wife—she is actually a fitness competitor—introduced me to the program. And this is about maybe four years ago when I was doing some stuff and she was competing, and then it went into we were doing our TV show on VH1, the I Heart Nick Carter show. Our lives are still busy and we just don’t have time to go out and just find food so I decided to do this program, and I’ve been doing it ever since. It really keeps me trim and keeps the stress off of me for food.
And what kind of workouts did you do to get in shape for Dancing with the Stars?
NC: With the show, I need to be constantly fit. I never go into starvation mode so that’s why Fitness Kitchen is perfect. But the show [and] the rehearsals, are so intense. We’re talking, like, five-to-eight hours a day of constant dance. And so you’re burning anywhere from 1,200 to 2,000 calories [a day], which is another reason why I chose to do this show because a lot of times when we have a bit more downtime, we can get a little lazy, a little comfortable being back home. You don’t have the benefit of doing a two-hour show every night, like how I’ve been doing with the Backstreet Boys. So I chose [Dancing with the Stars] to kind of keep me fit, keep me in shape. Dancing is like one of the best cardio [workouts] that anybody can do.
Where do you eat healthy in LA?
NC: Honestly, I do like M Café a lot. There’s a place called Kreation [Juice] that we like. I love fish-based places because fish is the best thing for you. It’s just the omegas and all those things—so any place I can get some healthy fish, I’ll do it. And I just go to Erewhon Natural Foods or something and just get some stuff from there.
How about where you go for a cheat day in LA?
NC: Probably because we live out in Calabasas, I get a cupcake from SusieCakes.
What Backstreet Boys song do you think is the best to work out to?
NC: “Larger Than Life” would be pretty motivating. It’s just a rock song, like, a rock-dance song.
You talked about your Most Memorable Moment on Dancing with the Stars the other week, and you got a little emotional. Tell us a little bit about that.
NC: I didn’t realize that I would be. I [was just] cut off and shut off for so long that I brought back these old feelings of the things that I tried to do when it came to my family. But then, also, [I had] an epiphany, and it kind of made me realize that I had done everything and it was okay. Basically, there was a sad story but there was a happy story too—the fact that music saved me, and I created a new family. So good came out of some bad.
Tell us about your upcoming movie, Dead 7.
NC: Yeah, Dead 7 is just a riot. It’s a movie with all your favorite boy bands from O-Town to Backstreet Boys to *NSYNC to 98 Degrees as the lead cast members. It was a movie that was produced by me and the guys who did Sharknado, The Asylum. Dead 7 is sort of a zombie-western movie—it’s a hybrid and it’s two of my favorite genres that I wanted to put together. I wrote the script about eight years ago, brought it to the guys at The Asylum, they perfected it, and we decided to just cast this whole musical, pop-star cast. It’s this post-apocalyptic movie and this world that everyone’s living in and zombies exist. And we’re basically a gang of bandits that are hired guns to save the world—boy bands saving the world. [Laughs]
Why did you decide to cast other ’90s pop stars?
NC: A lot of singers love acting and they don’t ever get an opportunity to act for whatever reason, [or] they’re super busy with their work. So that was one of the reasons that I wanted them in the movie because it’s people who you wouldn’t necessarily see on the big screen. And also two, they’re passionate about it, they love it, and it’s so just so different—something you haven’t seen before. Yes, we all love our favorite actors, but [I was] trying to do something that was outside of the box and different.
Speaking of the ’90s—what was your biggest style regret?
NC: I mean—the baggy jeans were pretty bad. It looks like we took a dump in our pants, it was ridiculous.