Four years ago, a certain Jesse McCartney introduced himself to audiences as he set out looking for a beautiful soul.  And the audiences followed him: his first album, Beautiful Soul, sold over 1.5 million copies after its release.  Two years later, his second album, Right Where You Want Me, continued his signature feel-good pop, but was less successful.

Perhaps it was a wake-up call from him, as he has decided to take on a more mature image.  He released his R&B-tinged album, Departure, six months ago, which he claims shows his maturity as a singer.  He’s intent on taking that maturity beyond the pop charts, however: tonight he’ll be a guest on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and his role will be everything far from feel-good.

“This character … is a huge jump for me,” he said.  “I play a murder suspect, a super-Catholic conservative white boy.  It’s definitely a stretch and a leap.  It’s an emotional role.”

Tonight’s episode revolves around a group, the “Blessed Heart Chastity Circle,” where McCartney’s character, Max Matarazzo, is part of.  The team is led to a group of teenage girls who decide to get pregnant at the same time until, in McCartney’s own words, “it all goes wrong.”  The episode, he says, is based on true events.

However, this is not McCartney’s debut in acting.  He has appeared in the daytime soap All My Children as he grew up, and recently lent his voice to the film Alvin and the Chipmunks.  With this move, however, he is intent on pursuing more mature screen roles in the future.  “One of my biggest goals for 2009 is to build up my film repertoire,” he said. “You’ll be seeing me do film and TV a little more.”

So, from a beautiful soul, we can expect a different side to McCartney on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which airs tonight from 10pm on NBC.

-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: NBC, Reuters
(Image courtesy of NBC)

Henrik Batallones

Staff Writer, BuddyTV