In this week’s In Appreciation Of, we look at Frankie Jonas, now going by Franklin, creating his own identity away from his famous brothers.
Welcome to In Appreciation Of, where we highlight actors, personalities, filmmakers and projects that have made an undeniable impact on popular culture.
It’s not easy growing up in a famous family.
There’s inevitable pressure, of course. Perhaps self-doubt or lack of confidence.
While there are plenty of famous siblings, it’s a little different when your own life is out of the spotlight.
Enter Frankie Jonas, now going by Franklin.
As the much younger brother of the Jonas Brothers, Frankie received the nickname “Bonus Jonas”.
He later expressed distaste for this moniker.
After so many years, what’s the next step? Where do you go from there?
You could either try to live your own life and not worry too much about the comparison.
Or, like Frankie Jonas, you could embrace your notability and try to become well-known on your own merit.
Before we go further, let’s have a look at what Jonas’ peers (and family) have said about him:
“He’s always had a unique sense of humour, unique voice as a comedic person. He’s the star, we’re all just Frankie’s brothers now.”Nick Jonas, The Kelly Clarkson Show (2021)
“I learned how authentic Frankie’s heart is. When he is talking to someone, he’s truly genuine about the conversation.
“Sometimes, a lot of people can be surface level and I don’t think Frankie has that ability in his body.”Kevin Jonas, TV Insider (2022)
For the most part, it seems that he has not been consumed by the pressure of being related to the Jonas Brothers.
However, in a 2021 Bustle interview, Jonas commented how the comparison affected his self-esteem for a period of time.
He said: “A lot of my problem with being in the public eye was that I was seen as this commodified vision of myself.
“A lot of it was like, ‘If you ever feel forgotten, remember this guy.’ Or, ‘Frankie Jonas is a talentless sack of s-t.
“It became a form of self-harm to look at these things.
“Then it became essentially an OCD, like a tic. I couldn’t stop. I checked it every day, and I had to, to feel okay in a way.
“It really became a serious issue for me. A lot of that perpetuated the idea that I was just this meme. I was this joke, and my entire identity to people was ‘adjacent,’ which really affected myself and the way that I thought about the world and the way I felt about myself.”
Ultimately, Frankie’s position was a double-edged sword.
Sure, he had access to privilege and a famous lifestyle, at what cost?
As Frankie mentioned in the quote above, that price seemed to be his self-esteem, at least for a period of time.
While many celebrities struggle with the pressure of fame, especially at a young age, Frankie was part of a very unique club.
When he was a child, Frankie’s fame came from who he was related to. He was the Jonas Brothers’ younger brother, that was his claim to fame – if you’ll pardon the pun.
It seems having worldwide attention from something you accomplished can be difficult. Let alone have that at a young age and by association.
So, how did Frankie Jonas forge his own path?
Initially, he was a child actor and appeared in his brothers’ projects including Camp Rock 2 and the TV series Jonas.
Later, Jonas started making waves in music, hosting and content creation. In February 2023, he released his debut single, titled “Cocaine.”
In the summer of 2022, Frankie and his oldest brother Kevin co-hosted ABC’s reality mystery series Claim To Fame.
On this show, relatives of celebrities try to hide their identities and the person they’re related to.
By doing so, the winner (i.e. the person who keeps their relative hidden for the longest) receives a cash prize.
During the pandemic, Jonas also established himself as a big name on TikTok, having 1.8m followers as of writing.
While Frankie will always be the Jonas Brothers’ younger brother, that doesn’t define who he is. As a person or as an artist.
Who knows what Frankie Jonas will go onto next?
One thing’s for sure, he’ll be doing it authentically to who he is.