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Dash and Lily: How That Nick Jonas Cameo Happened

[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of Dash & Lily, “New Year’s Eve.”]

As you might have noticed when Dash & Lily first launched on Netflix, Nick Jonas serves as an executive producer alongside Shawn Levy. Levy and Jonas have known each other for quite some time now, having first crossed paths for Night at the Museum 2 in which Jonas plays a singing marble cherub. Even though that film was shot over 11 years ago, it was still pretty clear to Levy way back then that Jonas had some serious ambition, specifically for “creative fulfillment.” So while Jonas’ capabilities as a producer didn’t necessarily surprise Levy, he was taken by the variety of areas in which Jonas contributed.

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Image via Netflix

One might expect Jonas to be an ace collaborator when it comes to soundtrack and score, but Levy also stressed that he was “so clear in his opinions and input on casting notes, script feedback, editing notes,” and stressed that Jonas is “a natural producorial talent.” And Jonas’ contribution to show didn’t even stop there. As you’ve now seen, he also cameoed in the final episode of Season 1. The thing is though, they hadn’t planned for Jonas to appear in the show. The whole thing came from a spark of inspiration backstage at the Hollywood Bowl. Here’s how Levy put it:

“I think fans might find it interesting that from day one, Nick Jonas and I were gonna co-produce this. There was never ever an intention on anyone’s part for Nick to cameo in Dash & Lily. We were more than halfway through the filming of the season when I took some of my daughters to see Nick and his brothers perform at the Hollywood Bowl. I went backstage to say hi, and it was literally Nick, me, Joe, Kevin and Priyanka hanging out in their tiny green room with my two younger daughters, and Nick and I started talking and were suddenly like, ‘Hey, is there any way we could do some impromptu cameo?’ And that entire sequence was conceived of in 15 minutes over a tequila backstage at the Hollywood Bowl.”

So they’re more than halfway through filming and suddenly need to put together a whole concert scene. How exactly does that happen so quickly? Levy explained:

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Image via Netflix

“To their credit, the entire production team rallied to figure out how the hell we were gonna pull off that cameo, which is not small or unambitious. We figured all that out in two weeks. I share it because it’s really fun that this job of telling stories in movie or TV, it involves a certain creative energy and even though the process gets big and the names get more famous, the budgets get larger, there’s a certain renegade film school fun to the job. And coming up with that cameo and engineering it and pulling it off all on the fly, that was very fun and it was really gratifying to watch.”

So, there you go! That’s the story of how Nick Jonas’ cameo in Season 1 of Dash & Lily came to be. If you’re looking for even more Dash & Lily content, Collider has you well covered in that department. Click here for the rest of my chat with Levy, here for our interview with Austin Abrams and Midori Francis, and here for a spoiler conversation with Dante Brown and Troy Iwata.

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