Youth Impact Report 2012: Channeling Talent

Reportedly the highest-paid young actor on TV, Jones has weathered a year of big changes on hit CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men.”

“It went through some pretty hard times, having lost our main lead,” he says, referring to the Charlie Sheen implosion. “But (replacement) Ashton Kutcher is an awesome guy. He brings another level to the show, and I feel we’re back on track now.”

The actor, who turns 19 in October, began his career at age 4 doing television commercials, landed his first lead role at age 6 in the feature film “See Spot Run” and joined “Men” 10 seasons ago.

“So I’ve spent half my life playing Jake Harper, and we’ve gone through a lot of the same teenage experiences,” he says, although the smart, college-bound star (he graduated high school in June and is headed to U. of Colorado in 2013) hardly needs to stress that any similarities between him and his dim-bulb, slacker alter ego only go so far.

“It’s definitely been a unique learning curve, but I’m honestly not sure if I’ll come back for another season,” he says. “But who knows? The last two years, I didn’t think I’d be doing it again, but look what happened.”

As for rumors that his character will soon be dating Miley Cyrus on the show, he pleads total ignorance. “I’m on a need-to-know basis, and I haven’t heard anything about it from anyone at work, but if it happens it’d definitely be a lot of fun,” he says.

Impact: Teen star survived the casting shake-up on “Two and a Half Men.”
Next: “I have nothing lined up, but I’ll always do something creative, even if it’s just making jokey 10-second videos for YouTube shot on my iPhone.”
Causes: Donates to his high school and church.

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