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SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

SpoilerTV Interview With Dan Jeannotte

24 Aug 2017

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I was recently given the opportunity to interview Dan Jeannotte, who we know from Reign and The Bold Type. Dan talks about both roles in this interview and even drops a little teaser for The Bold Type at the end of the interview. A big thanks to the SpoilerTV team who helped with the questions. 

Word of warning: there are spoilers for both Reign and The Bold Type below, so tread carefully. 


SpoilerTV: How do you choose your next project? 

Dan Jeannotte: I’m always hoping to find roles and projects that will push me in a new direction. That it will either be a different kind of character for me to play, or offer me a different sort of filming experience, or introduce me to a different audience. 

STV: What drove you to the roles on Reign and The Bold Type? 

DJ: The character of James on Reign was really intriguing to me. He’s in a position of power but he isn’t given the full respect his position should entail, because of the fact that he’s a bastard. So he exists in a world of authority and privilege, but is always partially outside that world. And then his sister Mary finally comes back to Scotland, and he has to decide whether he can trust her, whether his loyalty is to his country or to her. It just seemed like a great setup for a character, and a sibling relationship with a lot of interesting potential. Plus, Reign is a beautiful period piece, and I’d never done something like that before. And my wife loves period pieces, so I knew she’d be happy if I got on the show! When Reign finished, I was interested in doing something more comedic. I actually have a background in comedy, improv and sketch, but I haven’t done very much comedic work in film or TV. Reign was such an intense, dramatic show. My character didn’t smile very often – and even though it was great fun to work in that tone, I thought it would be nice to follow it up with something lighter. When I had the chance to audition for The Bold Type, I thought, this is perfect. The show is clever and sexy and fast-paced, but at the same time, it deals with real issues. That’s exactly the kind of work I like to do. Entertaining but enlightening. 

STV: If you could be on any show, past or present, which show would it be? 

DJ: Game Of Thrones! It’s just the greatest show, and I was a huge fan of the books before the series came along. So that would be a dream come true. Community was such a fantastic, funny show, I would’ve killed to be on that. And 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are the smartest, silliest comedies out there. Please build me a time machine and get me on all those shows. 

STV: Did you know anything about the period (or the show) before signing on? 

DJ: I can’t say I knew that much about the historical period. Just the broad strokes. My wife, however, is a big English history buff, she knows all about that era. I would always go to her with my history questions. When I found out that I got the role, we started watching the series from the beginning. It started out as research. I thought we would watch just a few episodes, to understand the style of the show – but we got addicted and ended up watching the entire series! 

STV: What was it like working in the Toronto area and with Adelaide Kane? 

DJ: Well, I live in Toronto, and the studio where we shot most of the show was about a ten minute drive from my house, so that was awesome! I was kind of nervous about meeting Adelaide. I’d watched the show, I knew she was a wonderful actress, but I didn’t know what kind of person she’d be, if she’d be easy to work with. Luckily for me, she was very welcoming and sweet. And she was really fun and easy to work with. I think we had a good rapport on-screen – I was always happy with how our scenes turned out. Addy is the heart and soul of the show, she really carried the entire series. And in addition to being a great actor, she was also a great presence on set – really funny and caring towards the whole crew and the rest of the cast. She was inspiring that way. I haven’t seen her in a while now… I miss my sis! 

STV: Do you wish the writers had gone further with James’ relationship with Greer (Celina Sinden)? 

DJ: I thought that Greer and James would’ve made a great couple! It made a lot of sense to me that these two characters would fall for each other. There was some flirtation, and some nice emotional scenes, but unfortunately the show ended before they really had a chance to get together. It’s a shame. Mostly because Celina is such a funny and smart woman. I would’ve been very happy to hang out with her more. 

STV: What was it like working with the horses, swords and costumes? Did you have any previous experience with them? 

DJ: One of the most exciting things about working on Reign was the stunt work I got to do. The sword fighting and the archery and the horseback riding, it was all so exciting. I had never worked with horses before. To prepare for the shoot I took riding lessons, which was great. Working with horses on set can be tricky – they’re not always the most cooperative of co-stars. Plus I could never manage to mount or dismount without looking awkward! Still, it was so nice to be around the horses, they were such beautiful creatures. I usually worked with a horse named Sid – he was Torrance Coombs’ horse for the first 3 seasons of the show. The fight scenes I did were some of the most fun things to film. We worked with a stunt coordinator named Chris McGuire. He choreographed some awesome stunts, and he was a great teacher. I learned a lot from him. 

STV: What was it like working with Megan Follows? Did she direct you? 

DJ: Megan is an absolute gem – an incredible actress, and a genuinely kind, down-to-earth person. I feel very fortunate to have worked with her. We were only in a couple of scenes together unfortunately. I wish James could’ve gone to French court! She did direct me in one episode, and she was wonderful to work with in that capacity too. The same qualities she brings to her acting – passion and diligence and empathy – she brought to her directing. She did a great job. She’s such an impressive woman. 

STV: What was your favorite scene to shoot? 

DJ: I was spoiled because I got to share scenes with such wonderful actors – Addy and Celina of course, and Will Kemp, who is such a great guy, the amazing Jonathan Goad as John Knox, Claire Hunter who played Emily Knox… It’s hard for me to choose one scene, because I had such fun working with all these actors! But as I mentioned before, the stunt scenes were especially exciting to shoot. So if I had to pick one scene, it would be the battle in the hallway, where Hamilton and his men are killed, and then Mary and James realize that the whole thing was a setup orchestrated by Knox. High stakes, sword fighting, and drama! 

The Bold Type 

STV: What was your first impression when meeting Katie Stevens, Meghann Fahy and Aisha Dee? 

DJ: I first met Katie when they brought me in to audition with her. My first impression was that she seemed like a very down-to-earth person. Which is impressive, considering she’s already had a lot of success at a relatively young age. First impression of Meghann and Aisha: these are some funny ladies (Meghann’s humour is a bit more dry, Aisha is more of a goof). But all around, my impression of the three of them was: gosh, they’re really nice. I mean, pretty much right away they offered to babysit my son, so my wife and I could go out for dinner together. Those are good friends right there. 

STV: What do you think makes The Bold Type different from other shows? 

DJ: It’s got wit, smarts, beauty and heart. It’s the full package. It’s funny and fast-paced, but at the same time, it offers some smart social commentary, and it has a great positive message underlying it. It’s an accessible piece of entertainment that is also a proudly feminist story. It celebrates the strength of women, especially young women, and we need more of that on our screens right now. 

STV: How would you personally describe Ryan? 

DJ: He’s a smart, confident dude. He isn’t intimidated by a strong woman – in fact he’s drawn to that strength. He’s a decent guy, emotionally aware of others, and the sex and relationship writing he does for Pinstripe is his way of trying to become a better man and help others. He’s still holding on to an idea, which may have worked for him when he was younger, that he’s happier being in non-monogamous relationships. But I think he’s starting to realize that he’s changed, and in Jane he’s found someone who he could happily commit to, if he would just get over his (and her) outdated definition of who he is. 

STV: Will we get to learn more of Ryan’s background and see the Pinstripe offices this season? 

DJ: Although we do get to see a bit more of Ryan this season, I can’t say that we really delve into his background. He’s involved in the plotline of the show because he’s a part of Jane’s journey, a piece of her puzzle. It’s her story, not his. 

STV: Is there anyone on the show you’d like to share a scene with that you didn’t get to in season one? 

DJ: Everyone on the show is an excellent actor, and I’d love to spend more time working with all of them. The only main member of the cast that I didn’t work with at all was Aisha Dee. I think she’s so great in the show, so wonderful to watch, and I love Kat’s character and what she’s been through this season. So maybe some Kat and Ryan scenes in the hopeful next season? I’d like to see the two of them butt heads, or maybe get along perfectly?. 

STV: Any little teasers that you can share with the SpoilerTV readers about the upcoming episodes? 

DJ: Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that there’s an episode coming up that involves drinking games, bad dancing, and Jane and Ryan wearing the same outfit. Teaser!

Credit for the photos goes to Koutosh Keshiri