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During our recent chat in New York City, Aaron revealed it was his shared flaws with the "Matt" character that initially drew him to the role. "From being a lover, to being an intellectual and always trying to show off. You know, going out, resenting family and leaving and going partying and getting all messed up and coming back ... hey, that's my life!," Aaron said of his similarity to Matt. "It hasn't been easy. It hasn't been a perfect fairytale."
The always-candid star went on to share where he's at in his life right now, and the advice he has for stars like Justin Bieber and Greyson Chance as they navigate the rough waters of early fame. Read on for a surprisingly "real" chat with Aaron Carter, music industry vet at the ripe old age of 24.
Since finding fame at such a young age, you've overcome a great deal of adversity. How do you stay so positive?
I try to just embrace positivity as much as possible. I read a book on positive thinking, and, yes, my brother did, too. He's the one that told me I needed to read the book. I just go through experiences and see how people act and what they stress out over. And I just think to myself, "It's just not really that serious, you know? Chill out. It's not that crazy. Just calm down and enjoy yourself, enjoy your life." And that's what I do. I embrace who I am as a person and I'm real. Maybe I haven't always been that way. Maybe the media has treated me so bad and been hard and me and kicked me while I was down and made fun of me and had no consideration for how I felt about what I was doing with my life. But recently, all that has changed since I took certain steps in my life. Now, every time people come out to see me, they are saying I look healthy and look good. I appreciate that. Because I work very hard to do that -- to stay positive and avoid negative people. It's so funny ... one person can say something ... you get a 100,000 good comments, and you'll get one bad comment [and it's hard]. You can have your opinion that's fine, but I know it's not true and I know who I am as a person.
Have you ever read a bad tweet or bad review and said to yourself, "You know, maybe it's not worth it?"
Never. One little person will never effect me or the millions of fans that I have. I'll never give up what I do for one person who doesn't like me. Because I guarantee you they would never say it to my face. I've had people come up to me and they don't think that I recognize them from Twitter, and they come to me and say "I LOVE YOU," and I'm like, "No you don't! What are you doing here? I know who you are." Sometimes it's for attention, sometimes it's for other reasons. Sometimes they just had a bad day and want to take it out on a celebrity. That's fine. Go ahead and take it out on me. I can take it ... I can take a little comment behind a cheap piece of plastic.
Well you've actually drawn great reviews for your latest role of Matt in 'The Fantasticks.' What drew you to the part?
My management team brought the opportunity to me. I did my due diligence, I did my research on it and I said, "Absolutely I want to do this show. [Matt and I] have a lot of similarities. From being a lover, from being an extreme love struck guy ... to being an intellectual and always trying to show off. You know, going out, resenting family and leaving and going partying and getting all messed up and coming back ... hey, that's my life! It hasn't been easy. It hasn't been a perfect fairytale.
You had to move to Manhattan for your latest role ... what's been your most memorable New York moment so far?
I took a very special lady on a date on a Central Park horse carriage ride. It was fun. It's someone you probably know. If you check my timeline, I'm sure you could figure it out. Check my timeline on Twitter, like December-ish.
(Editors Note: We did a little digging, and from the looks of it, Aaron had a flirtation with Miss Teen USA, Danielle Doty, after meeting her at charity event.)
Recently, you played a show at the Gramercy Theater and sang some older songs which I'm sure the fans went crazy for...
They went insane! It was a madhouse. They lost their minds. It was so amazing.
Are there any songs, like 'Aaron's Party (Come Get It)' that you're so sick of playing live?
Nope. Not at all. I love all the songs I've ever done. And I embrace it.
Besides the theater, you were recently one of the celeb chef-testants on the Food Network's 'Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.' Got any cooking tips for us?
I actually do consider myself a decent cook. I'm really good at cooking steak on a grill, homemade mash potatoes. Obviously not macaroni salad. I usually get that at the deli. My secret to good steak is olive juice. Marinate it in olive juice. It makes it so amazing ... so good.
So we've heard some whispers that you're working on a new album. How far along are you on it?
It'll hopefully be out this year. We're going to finish up recording the album within the next month, hopefully. I'm in the studio. I'm doing my concerts. I'm doing the 8 Broadway shows a week. So there's a lot on my plate right now, but nothing I can't handle. I'm actually more at peace when I'm working all the time. It's like it's not work. I'm having a blast. I'm having the time of my life.
And the sound of the album will be?
Pop roots, absolutely! Anyone who's ever listened to my music, it's going to be the grown up version of what they grew up with.
Is there a possibility that a duet with your brother Nick could end up on the CD?
I'm up for it if Nick's up for it. But Nick is more focused on him right now. We're always very busy and we find ways to reconnect within months ... periods of time. That's how our relationship is. We've always been workers. We always go out and do our thing. We always appreciate what each other does.
You were famous before you could even drive. What advice do you have for the Justin Biebers and Grayson Chances of the world?
Don't act like you're the biggest thing in the whole world. Because when stuff doesn't work out for you, then all of a sudden, you're the one who has to deal with it emotionally. It's like what happened to me. I had a dream. I lived that dream. I lost it. And then I had another dream. And now I'm doing it again. It's a tough thing to go through. It builds you as a man and it builds your character. I would say to all those kids just to appreciate everyone around you and everyone that supports you and your team ... because they're the ones that make it happen. You go in there and dance around and sing. But they're the ones who handle the business and make it possible for you to have a good life, so appreciate those people. And cherish every moment you have. It's kind of hard for me to give advice to people who I don't really know and I don't know how their personalities are, but I can tell you I know exactly how Justin is because I lived that life. I lived that life and now I'm redoing it. But now I'm successfully doing it as an adult and I'm very grateful for that.
As a teen, you got a lot of press for your relationship with Hilary Duff. Are you guys still in touch?
She don't make no effort to talk to me ... to reach out to me. And I'm fine with that. She's married. And having a baby. So I moved on. I don't think it's possible to stay in contact with your exes. I don't.
With so much going on for you right now, what song would you say describes your life at this moment?
'Cave In' by Owl City. It just explains how I am and the way I think and the way I feel about things. It's just perfectly ideal for me.