Before ending our call, I ask the actor and singer Jordan Fisher a rather silly question: What’s the worst thing about you? It’s meant to be a joke, a lighthearted response to the fact that the internet has repeatedly dubbed him Hollywood’s “wholesome new heartthrob” — a multitalented, bona fide nice guy. (He’s even a self-proclaimed morning person.) But true to form, Fisher answers earnestly.
“The question that I’m posed often from fans, or even from colleagues, is ‘How are you so good at everything?’ Is that a compliment? Yes. And I do take that as one. But it’s actually an insatiable habit and a bit of an addiction for me,” he tells MTV News over the phone from his home in Los Angeles. “Since I was a child, I’ve had this undying need to be really good at everything I do, and if I’m not good at it, I tend to beat myself up. It’s perfectionism. I’m much more patient with others than I am with myself. That’s with everything — arts, gaming, business, being a brother and friend, a godfather, a significant other. I just want to be the best all the time. That’s probably the worst thing about me. It’s been at the forefront of my mind lately. I need to figure out how to give myself as much grace as I would give other people.”
“Some would say that it’s probably a great thing about me, and some might say it can be my downfall,” he adds. “I think it’s a little bit of both.”
This level of self-awareness makes Fisher such an alluring addition to the pantheon of internet boyfriends. He knows himself. More importantly, he’s honest with himself. That charm manifests in his work: as the titular teen in turmoil in the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen; sweet, sensitive John Ambrose McClaren in To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You; in his latest single, “Contact,” and its intimate, self-directed visual; and even through his daily Twitch livestreams, where he plays video games and muses over controversial topics like adding milk before cereal.
It’s that all-consuming pursuit of perfection that drives everything he does. As a child, he was encouraged to try everything — singing, dancing, acting, gymnastics, instruments, gaming, nothing was off limits — and now, the 25-year-old has a hard time doing nothing. “I have to be busy to be happy,” he says.
So when New York theaters closed last month in response to the growing spread of the novel coronavirus throughout the city, Fisher got down to business. He booked a flight home to Los Angeles, called a meeting with his team and his gaming manager, and put a plan together. If he was going to practice safe social distancing, then he was going to maintain a full schedule. He’s been gaming full-time. He streams on Twitch every day in four-hour blocks, twice on Wednesdays, where he’s built a passionate community known as Fish Fam. “I’ve been a gamer my whole life,” he says. “I had a job at GameStop when I was 16 years old. For as long as I’ve been living, I’ve held a controller.”