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He’s a California convert

‘Summerland’ star wants to stay at the beach

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Jesse McCartney loves working on the beach in "Summerland."

Jesse McCartney loves working on the beach in “Summerland.”

Patrick Ecclesine, The WB

HOLLYWOOD — In the WB series "Summerland," Jesse McCartney plays a teenage boy from Kansas who is somewhat overwhelmed when he moves in with his aunt at her California beach house. And, although mourning the recent death of his parents, he's instantly taken with the sun and sand.

While McCartney has been nominated for a pair of Daytime Emmy Awards, the former "All My Children" star doesn't really have to act to play that part of his "Summerland" character, Bradin.

"Dude, I'm so living out here forever," the 17-year-old said. "I'm not ever going back to New York."

As you can tell, Bradin isn't the only one taken with the sun and sand in California.

"It was such a rush to get out there on the beach and look at all those blue waves. It was amazing. It was really amazing," McCartney said. "And I think that us New Yorkers back home — especially kids my age — we never get to really see enough of that. And it was a lot of fun being out there shooting the pilot and getting to work with Taylor on the beach and just hanging out. It was a great time."

That would be Taylor Cole, the extremely attractive young woman who plays the extremely attractive Erica, the "older woman" (like, 20) on whom Bradin develops an instant crush. Erica becomes Bradin's surfing instructor, which means he gets to spend a lot of time with her. While she's wearing bathing suits.

"Jesse had a hard job on the pilot — surfing and Taylor," joked Lori Loughlin, who stars as Bradin's Aunt Ava. "It was tough."

Although filming McCartney's surfing scenes didn't turn out to be as tough as the producers expected.

"Jesse had never surfed before, and we were all very concerned (about) our precious little actor and putting him in the water. The cold water," said executive producer Stephen Tolkin. "And we got about 18 expert surf teachers around him figuring we'll just get him out there to paddle a little bit. We used a body double.

"And the first time he was put near a board in the water, he stood up and rode the wave in. The first time!"

"A natural!" Loughlin exclaimed.

E-mail: pierce@desnews.com