Interview With David Haydn-Jones, “A Bramble House Christmas”

By Ruth on November 15, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
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Thanks to the lovely and supportive Teresa Minutolo, I had the pleasure of initially connecting with and interviewing the phenomenal and accomplished David Haydn-Jones. I had been a fan of his and had heard him mentioned and seen him featured in a wide variety of contexts, but it was that first interview and interaction with him that irrefutably cemented my undivided and unparalleled support for his overall career. However, my support for him goes far deeper than that as I have come to somewhat know and comprehend the real David off the screen as well. He is one who far surpasses the status of being merely a phantom of the screen, a caricature of evil/good or even a few clever words typed via social media. And I am immensely honored to have the opportunity not only to chat with him again, but to get to share this ebullient and insightful interview with all of my readers today!

David Haydn-Jones Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Pooya Nabei

RH: So nice to chat with you again, David. 

DHJ: Same here, Ruth. How are you?

I’m doing well, thank you. How about you?

I can’t complain. Busy, busy. Being busy is a happy actor in this business. I’m counting my blessings. And I’m excited to see what A Bramble House Christmas has to offer folks.

I think I’ve lost track of how many ads I’ve seen for that film.

The network really seems happy with this one. They said it’s one of their favorites ever.

Let me begin by asking a fan question. Teresa has a question.

Aw, T-bear! Of course!

Her question is, “When you are at a low point in your career and things aren’t going that well for you, what helps you through those times?”

Every actor, just by definition, until they are probably famous and a name, have slow times. But even then, famous actors have lulls because it’s a market-driven business. What you really have to do is this. There is a spiritual component and then there’s a work component. And then there’s like a mental health component. The mental health and spiritual sort of tie in together. Just trying to live in gratitude and focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have is a really good practice. Meditation and yoga work really well for me in terms of relaxing and removing the anxiety. Then what you really have to do is get back to the work. I will go back to my theater company and go back to class and go back to seminars and even to play readings. Anything that keeps the acting muscle in shape. And the health, body, and fitness are essential. I make sure I’m exercising and eating right. And then just getting back to the work. At the end of the day, all you have is your process and the work itself because that’s the only thing that’s gonna sustain you if you want to keep doing this job. The ego, the hype, what the market wants at any given time is out of your control. So you just have to double down and reinvest with the stuff that’s in your control.

David, I would say that is an excellent answer. 

Thank you.

As far as Bramble House goes, it’s been a little while since you filmed it. When did you guys film it?

It was the end of July to the beginning of August.

That sounds right; I was thinking it was the summer.

Yeah, generally it’s always the summer. Christmas in summer in Vancouver is usually how it works.

You hadn’t worked with Autumn Reeser before, had you?

No, I had not.

And based on what you and she posted, you both seemed to hit it off pretty well.

Autumn Reeser, David Haydn-Jones Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

Indeed, that’s not just showbiz talk. The good thing was that Danica {McKellar} had put in a good word for me. Danica and I have remained friends since working together last year, and Danica knew Autumn through the community. Also, one of my oldest, dearest friends that I went to class with in Los Angeles is actually one of her best friends. So I had a few people put in a good word for me beforehand, which helped. She’s also got a wicked wit and a sense of humor; she’s so bright and really cares about the work too. I think she kind of caught that I have the same qualities. I really care about the intellectual part. I take the work seriously but not myself seriously. And she’s the same. We had an instant rapport and got into some fun, intellectual conversations on day one. And she said, “You can take a joke, can’t you?” And I said, “Yes, I can. And you can, too.” We actually teased each other quite a bit and pushed each other’s buttons which is fun, but in the right way, in the playful way. Our rapport was great, and hopefully, it will come through in the movie.

David Haydn-Jones, Liam Hughes, Autumn Reeser Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

That’s actually what I kind of thought. I don’t know Autumn, but when I heard she had been cast opposite you, I thought you two were gonna have fun filming together. And I thought it was going to bring a good chemistry but a different kind of chemistry than what we might have seen with the other leading ladies. 

Yes, and I also think that because this movie is on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries…what I loved about this script in particular…it’s got a lot more drama and edge in it. And I think that’s why they put it on this channel. There is a semi-mystery to the story, i.e., that I’m going looking for answers. And there are some darker themes in it. And there’s also some lies and betrayal and manipulations that are a little darker than say, a cookie baking contest. Not that there’s anything wrong with cookie-baking hijinks at all. But this one goes a little shrewder and darker, if that makes sense.

David Haydn-Jones, Liam Hughes, Autumn Reeser Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

Again, that’s what I was expecting. They typically put those kinds of films on that network. And our young Liam Hughes was with you too, isn’t that right?

Oh, Liam is an absolute blessing! Obviously, the Hearties will be excited to see him playing with us. Erin {Krakow} saw that I was working with Liam, and she texted me insisting that I send her a video of us two from set. And I did, and she asked, “Can I post it? Can I post it?” And I was like, “Okay, fine.” So there’s a little video of Liam and I doing skating lessons. And it’s great because he didn’t really know how to skate that well, so it was perfect for the movie. He is beyond smart, so cute and sweet and such a well-mannered and hard-working young man. One of my absolute favorites to work with. I also got to know his parents quite well, and we’re gonna stay friends for sure.

David Haydn-Jones Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

In addition to this film, are there any other upcoming things you can mention where we’ll we able to see you?

I shot something top secret recently, and I’ll do a little teaser. I got to work with the esteemed James Cromwell in a dark, comedic short that is going to be dropping right around Super Bowl and possibly during the Super Bowl. We don’t know the exact date for sure yet. But it’s definitely gonna be provocative. It’s going to have people possibly talking and rather hot, and it may potentially go viral. It was shot beautifully. So I’ll just put that little teaser out there to keep an eye out for that.

SUPERNATURAL

And, of course, your Supernatural fans continue to ask for Mr. Ketch to come back. 

Yes, they have been very supportive, and it’s been quite a ride. It has been interesting to see how vigorous their voices are online.

I’m going to admit I haven’t watched the show since your character was killed. For me, the show lost something when your character died.

{laughs} Well, thank you. We all know why you were watching anyway, Ruth. You were a good supporter, and you were trying to see if you could cross genres. This is what I believe. You are either completely in love with Supernatural or you’re like, “It’s just not my thing.” There’s not a whole lot of people on the fence about that show. It’s interesting. When I tell people what show I’ve been on, they’re either like, “Oh my gosh, I love that show!” or “My family member is crazy about that show.” Or they go, “Oh, is that show still on?” There’s not a lot of people who are like, “Oh, I watch it every now and again.” You’re either all on board or you’re not.

I think part of my problem is I haven’t watched it from the very beginning. I’ve watched the pilot, but from the pilot to now, so much has happened, and it was tough to make that jump. But my daughter and I did watch last season, and we even watched your death together.

At least I went out with a blaze of glory. I earned my death.

Oh yeah, no doubt. Now, do you have any conventions coming up?

Yes, I have my first Supernatural one with Creation Entertainment coming up. I wasn’t able to go to Chicago because I was actually shooting Bramble House at the time.  We couldn’t make the scheduling work; we tried and tried and tried. Basically, I was all day, every day on Bramble House. So I missed Chicago from the summer. But San Francisco is on Friday, December 1st, so it looks like I’m free and clear for that one. I’m very excited to do my first North American one. So if they’re in the neighborhood or want to come to San Francisco, we accept all fandoms. I still want to do a survey of the Hallmark and Supernatural overlap. I know there’s a few.

I would say there’s more than a few. 

Really? There are more than a few? You would think they would be kind of disparate audiences, but maybe the demographic is sort of the same. It’s interesting though. There were some Hallmark people that were like, “Sorry, dude, but I can’t watch you on Supernatural. It’s just too out there for me.” But then there are Supernatural fans who are like, “I would never watch you in a Christmas movie!” It’s hilarious. I have these two different audiences, and some will overlap, and some will follow me, while others are like, “It’s never gonna happen, dude.” On both sides.

Well, I was amazed at how many Hallmark fans were into Bates Motel

That’s an interesting crossover.

I’ve even discovered there are Hearties that watch Outlander. I was exposed to that show for the first time at the Hearties Family Reunion we recently had up in Vancouver.

That makes more sense to me though. You’ve got this strong, fantastic female heroine lead.

When it comes to the story, yes, it makes sense. But I will admit that after seeing the very extensive bedroom scene, I was amazed that so many Hearties watched the show. I love the history and romance of the show, but I could do without the bedroom scenes–just my opinion. But to each his own.

Well, thank you so much, Ruth, for taking the time to chat with me. It is always a pleasure. I really appreciate your support.

David, absolutely. Always a pleasure for me too. And I can hardly wait to see A Bramble House Christmas

David Haydn-Jones, Liam Hughes, Autumn Reeser Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

As I have stated on countless occasions, when I have the chance to interview an actor subsequent times, I always find myself more exhilarated than the first time I chatted with that individual. In so many ways, it is just like catching up with an old friend, and in David, I have certainly found that warmth, ease, and authenticity that causes me to return for more interactions. His kindness far supersedes the established norm of the industry, and when it comes to responsive Hallmark actors, David is certainly near the top of the list. 

While a various assortment of things impresses me about David–his incalculable benevolence, his uncanny commitment to honing his craft, his uproarious sense of humor, his remarkable humility–there is one thing about David that resonates with me on a profound level. Although I would never label any of the people I interview as ignorant, being the academic that I am, I do enjoy having intellectual discourse with those I encounter. It is never a requirement, and I know that all learn differently and possess diverse strengths and weaknesses, but I absolutely adore the fact that with David, I can engage in conversations that often lean towards the analytical and sometimes even theoretical spheres. (For example, who else but David has ever said in an interview “i.e.”?)  In spite of our limited time, there are certain phrases and ways of speaking that appeal to my “inner geek,” shall we say? And very few will speak as directly to me as he does (I mean, he is absolutely spot on with why I watched Supernatural, and it was refreshing to be unmasked in such a way). Notwithstanding, David can easily converse with anyone on any level (sometimes his tweets are borderline “grade school,” after all!), and no matter what, he personalizes his conversation with each individual, often recalling details that might stupefy the listener, consistently seeking to inspire and encourage no matter the situation. At David’s core, he relentlessly esteems the other person better than himself, and he probably has the least amount of “ego” of any other actor in the business–at least, in my opinion.

Consequently, what will all David Haydn-Jones fans be watching on Sunday, November 19th on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Network? A Bramble House Christmas, of course! Furthermore, please follow this man at all his links below and promote his work whenever possible! I know I may seem like a broken record at times, but I promise you–David is one of the most unique people in the business, and Hallmark fans are darned lucky to have an actor with his skillset and a man of his caliber and disposition working to bring us content that will entertain, invigorate, and most of all, make us think on a much more complex level. I count myself infinitely blessed to be able to have David as a part of that special group of actors I consider friends.

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher

4 Comments

  1. denise November 16, 2017 Reply

    I really enjoyed this interview and am looking forward to Sunday’s movie!

    • Author
      Ruth November 17, 2017 Reply

      Thank you Denise me too!

  2. C. J. Carmichael November 16, 2017 Reply

    When I wrote A Bramble House Christmas several years ago, I never dreamed it would one day be a Hallmark movie, complete with an incredibly talented cast. Thanks for this interesting interview with David Haydn-Jones. I am a fan!

    • Author
      Ruth November 16, 2017 Reply

      CJ, thanks for stopping by! Excited for this movie!

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