The Bold Type’s Dan Jeannotte Talks Hallmark Channel’s Paris, Wine & Romance
Hallmark Channel goes all out with tonight’s Countdown to Summer creation. It’s a perfect (red) blend of three of our favorite things, namely, Paris, Wine & Romance.
At the heart of this adorable flick are two very pretty people — Isabella and Jacques. Their meet-cute takes form in the City of Love, where they find themselves in competition. Whose Pinot Noir reigns supreme? Well, you’ll have to watch to find out.
Though don’t be surprised if you end up falling for the couple at the heart of this story. Their chemistry is on point. The other key components that make this movie essential viewing: a glorious amount of wine; the gorgeous Parisian view (which is for real since much of the action was filmed in France’s capital city); and the great cast.
Paris, Wine & Romance stars Hallmark darling Jen Lilley, The Bold Type‘s Dan Jeannotte and THE Lolita Davidovich, whose known for her work in everything from Blaze to True Detective to How to Get Away with Murder.
“I think a love story that takes place in Paris between a plucky young American winemaker and an old school French wine man kind of sells itself,” says Jeannotte, who does a bit of selling anyway. “I think it’s wonderful. It looks beautiful. It’s got a lot of spirit to it. It’s got a really cute story between two very likable leads. And there’s French accents, right?”
The actor’s presence is welcome for many reasons, including the Montreal native’s command of the French language. The guy is fluent. On top of that, his accent while speaking English is impeccable.
“Speaking French is different than speaking English with a French accent,” he explains. “They’re not the same thing. But no one ever asked me if I could do French accents. They just assumed I could.”
It was when he was on set, he realized he’d have to come up with a fake one. That means he had to put in some work. The pressure to pull it off perfectly is real.
“I didn’t want to do a caricature of a French accent. I think that’s the biggest trap. It could come off sounding pretty cartoonish,” he adds. “You want it to be honest. And you want it to sound real and charming, you know? So I had to kind of balance.”
Jeannotte didn’t work with a coach. Instead, he looked to an acclaimed French actor for inspiration. “I worked with my wife a little before I left to do the filming,” he reveals. “Then I was listening to an actor, his name is Vincent Cassel. He is a French actor that has done some American movies like one of the [Jason] Bourne movies. He speaks English very well. I listened to a lot of interviews with him because he’s an actor I like. I like his attitude. I like his style and I listened to him doing interviews to keep me on track.”
Along with listening to Cassel’s interviews, the city — and the citizens — of Paris helped the Freeform star stay in character. “Just being surrounded by French people helps. There’s a pace of life that’s different in Europe and in Paris you really feel it,” he says. “We got to see a lot of wonderful sights in a short period of time. You just feel the history as you’re through it. And it’s still very modern as well…very alive. Around every corner it’s got these buildings that are 150 years old or 400 years old or older. The history is everywhere. And it puts you in a romantic headspace just being there.”
Speaking of romance, he’s all about the one his character shares with Lilley’s up-and-coming winemaker from Oregon, USA. “I liked playing someone who comes from an old school traditional family but who struggles with that a little bit,” Jeannotte explains. “When [Jacques] meets Isabella, he’s taken by her because of her energy, her spunkiness. It’s different than what he’s used to.
He’s like this is the way things must be done and she comes in just trying to disrupt the game and he really likes that. He wants to be modern. Wants to be newer. Wants to be more with the times. It was a nice pairing of characters. I think the audience will really get a kick out of watching the old school French man be turned around a little bit by the bold, young American woman.”
As an actor, he was in awe of Lilley’s work ethic considering the actress was pregnant during filming. “Literally, the first thing she said to me when we met…she said ‘Hi, I’m Jen’ and as we’re shaking hands, she’s like, ‘I’m five-and-a-half months pregnant.’
To have these long shoot days, she’s on her feet all day long. It takes a lot of energy out of anybody. I found it exhausting and I wasn’t growing another human being inside of me. It was very impressive. Every day she comes to the set. She brings that energy, that lightness, that kind of sparkle to the scenes and then in between takes she’s sitting down and putting her feet up.”
Another plus to being part of this project: working with Davidovich, who plays Jeannotte’s TV mom. “We had never met before and she’s just obviously a pro. Lolita was so cool. She was so down to earth, she was so likable, probably because she’s actually Canadian by birth. No, I’m kidding. But she is and [it was] nice for her and I to talk about Canada together.”
And then there’s the wine. Jeannotte doesn’t fancy himself a connoisseur, but he’ll do his best to become one someday. “I am a casual wine drinker. What’s funny is my go-to is Pinot Noir, which is what my character makes [in the movie]. I like California wines, I have to say. They tend to be — to my palate — a little bit more drinkable, I guess. French and Italian wines are more complex.
I have a friend who’s a sommelier who [helps] us understand what we’re looking for. The tastes that can come out of this particular wine, it’s something you do have to learn. You have to learn the vocabulary and train your palate. But it’s a training I am willing to do. I will put the time in.”
Photo Credit for all images: Eric Caro/©2019 Crown Media United States LLC
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