By Keisha Hatchett
Updated May 22, 2015 at 03:56 PM EDT
Credit: Ron Tom/ABC Family
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The first half of Young & Hungry’s two-part finale forced Gabby (Emily Osment) to finally admit what we’ve known all along—that she’s in love with Josh (Jonathan Sadowski). With Cooper (Jesse McCartney) left publicly humiliated and heartbroken, part two will deal with the fallout from her admission (and that kiss!).

Ahead of the spring finale airing May 27 at 8 p.m., McCartney spoke to EW about Cooper’s predicament and how he’s very different from his tech-savvy character. Plus, he explains what it takes to get that squeaky voice for the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise.

What can you tell us about the mid-season finale?

There’s a big reveal, and I think there’s an ongoing love triangle that just comes to a head. The audience is kind of in the know about stuff that Cooper’s not in the know about, and they’re gonna see Cooper’s reaction to this whole love triangle. And there’s a big dramatic scene at the end.

In the Chernobyl Diaries, you and Jonathan Sadowski played brothers, and now you’re competing for the same woman.

We got a chance to work in Budapest together and in Serbia for two months, and we became really good buddies. Incidentally, he became my neighbor. He lives right down the street from me. We literally carpool to work.

The great thing about this show is that it’s a family show, but also a grown-up show.

It’s easy to pass judgment on the network [ABC Family] because it has “family” in the title, but I think they’ve done a relatively good job of pushing the envelope a little bit, and trying to tackle real life topics for people in their later teen years and early college years. I realized that when I was shooting Greek a few years back. It wasn’t exactly what you would think of when you think of a family show.

How much of you is represented in the show?

For character development, I think a lot of the times you have to draw on personal experience and what you know to develop a character. In this case with Cooper, it was a little bit of a stretch because I’m not really at all a computer person or tech savvy in any regard. But I think the glasses did a good job of helping to pull that off.

Can you cook?

I’m a pretty good cook, actually. It’s funny, they have a ton of food on set all the time because she’s [Emily Osment] a chef on the show. They’re always showing her how to look like a chef and what she’s cooking. Everybody is on set picking and eating all the time because it’s just so much food. As a young guy, I watched my dad cook for us. Now that I have my own kitchen, I try to cook at least a few days a week. I absolutely love it; it’s like therapy for me.

What’s your signature dish?

I’m good behind the grill. I can grill up pretty much anything.

I know that you’re also working on Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip. Tell me about the process of filming that.

I just talk normally like I would, but a little higher. It’s tricky because you have to speak really slow, but with the same emphasis and enthusiasm as a normal conversation. You do that, and it sounds like a chipmunk—or it sounds awful, and you have to do it 50 more times. (laughs) As a young boy I was a big fan so it’s kinda cool to be a part of that franchise.

Having grown up in the entertainment industry, what is the biggest thing you’ve learned?

I think having a solid group around me my whole life, both professionally and in my private life, has definitely attributed to the success of my career and my personal life. I think keeping people around you that will tell you “no” and tell you the truth is probably the most important thing. And it definitely works for me.

Young & Hungry

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