Interview: Jet Jurgensmeyer of “A Belle for Christmas”

Posted on November 4, 2014 at 7:00 am

Copyright Anchor Bay Entertainment 2014
Copyright Anchor Bay Entertainment 2014

A Belle for Christmas, available today on DVD, is a cute holiday story of a dog named Belle who comes to live with kids named Elliot and Phoebe and their widowed father (Dean Cain).  Kristy Swenson plays Dani, the crafty baker trying to win the father’s heart so she can quit her job, send his children away to school, and enjoy being supported.  But she is allergic to Belle.  If she is going to move into the house, she has to find a way to get rid of the dog.  I had a chance to talk to Jet Jurgensmeyer, the charming young actor who plays Elliot.  He might just be the politest actor I’ve ever interviewed.

I asked him to describe Elliot as if if was a friend.   “He loves his grandma, he loves hanging with his friend Malcolm, he has a crush on a girl on the other street and he is very outgoing and he loves his dad, you can kind of tell that. And if he needs to he can come with some kind of plans and pranks and stuff.”  He said the adults were as good as the children at remembering their lines.  “You know we had some fumbles in our lines ever so often. Everybody does but I don’t know I think a little bit of both. Maybe kids are better because they have got that fresh mind.”  He loved the two dogs that played Belle.  “She was the sweetest thing in the world, she was so cute and fluffy. Two dogs actually. I used both of them. I don’t think I’d ever seen a cream colored shepherd. And when I first saw both of them, I was like ‘Oh my gosh!’ They were like the snow, they were so cute and I guess from the first time when all the kids and the grownups met the dogs it was like, ‘Oh yes this is going to be awesome.'”

The dogs’ trainer helped make sure that Belle performed on cue.  “The part in the movie in the beginning where the dog comes out of the lady’s arms and comes over towards me and I pick her up — they actually put some dog treats, I can’t remember if it was on my boots or right next to my boot. So the dog would come over and start nibbling on that and I would pick her up.  She actually really did what she was told to do.”

In the film, Elliot and Phoebe can tell right away that Dani is not to be trusted.  I asked Jet how they figured it out.  “Kids can kind of like see that from like a mile away.  We could tell she didn’t care about us – she just cares about our dad. So basically when that happens they are just like…’Okay, this is war.'”

He enjoyed hanging out with the other kids in the cast between film set-ups.  “We hang, we tell jokes.  In the trailer all the kids had we had bunk   beds. Four kids so four bunk beds. So me and my friend Connor we got the top bunks then the girls were on the bottom ones but we every so often, we’d go on everybody else bed. Ee just laughed and had fun. Everybody on the set knew right away ‘This set is going to be really fun. That’s what this is.'”

When he’s not working or in school, Jet likes movies about basketball and soccer.  He enjoys the baseball classic “The Sandlot,” too. He likes books about sports as well, and recently read a book about Satchel Paige.  He really enjoys acting, but his favorite thing about making a movie is asking questions about pretty much everything.  “Why are you putting this right here?”  “What’s this lens going to do?”  He also enjoyed “hanging with Dean and Kristy” and being reunited with Connor Berry and Avary J. Anderson, who play his friends in the film, and have appeared with him before.  “Every time I would see Dean he would always do this trick. It’s that trick which where he is like ‘Oh is that something on your shirt?’ and then he would bang you on the nose and even till this day he will do it to me like three times when I see him. Every single time I will fall for it. I need to have a buzzer that says, ‘Don’t do it!’ but every time I’m like ‘urrrh!’  He’s hilarious.”

And Jet says the best advice he ever got about acting is “just don’t worry about it if you make mistakes.  Just have fun with it and go with the flow and if you feel something, go with it and do it.”


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