‘The Bold Type’: Exclusive Interview with Dan Jeannotte

Dan Jeannotte
The Bold Type, summer’s new hit, follows three ladies as they navigate work, life, and love in New York City, while working at high-end fashion magazine, Scarlet. Among the love interests is Dan Jeannotte, who you may recognize as Mary’s brother on Reign.

Dan Jeannotte who plays Jane’s love interest on The Bold Type, Pinstripe Guy (or rather, Ryan), answered a few of our questions about the series and the future of #Janestripe.

What about Ryan interested you when you first read for the part?

Dan Jeannotte: When I first read the scenes for my audition, I thought to myself “I’d love to play this guy!”. I really enjoyed the banter between Jane and Ryan… the way they’re sizing each other up, testing each other out. They’re being sort of snippy and antagonistic towards one another, but you can tell there’s an instant attraction. I thought it was sexy, funny and, maybe most importantly, it felt believable.

As for Ryan himself, I liked the idea that the character seems very confident and direct; he’s not afraid of saying things that will throw Jane off her game. In fact he seems to enjoy getting under her skin. It might make him seem like a bit of a jerk, but — in my mind at least — he’s really not. He’s a good guy who’s just upfront about what he wants and isn’t afraid of speaking his mind. He’s, in a word, bold… and that’s great fun to play.

What has been your favorite part of working on The Bold Type?

Jeannotte: Can I say “everything”? To be honest, it’s been a wonderful experience all around. The creative team behind the show is really fantastic. We had great scripts to work with and, on top of that, the actors were encouraged to ad-lib or improvise when it felt right. That’s a great gift as an actor: to have directors and producers have enough confidence in you that they’ll let you go off-script.

My fellow actors were wonderful. Of course almost all of my scenes were with Katie Stevens… lucky for me, she turned out to be one of my favorite parts of working on the show. She’s such a genuine, down-to-earth person AND a really good actor AND a funny lady. Also, sometimes I would get to hear her sing! I feel so grateful to have had her as my scene partner.

Another favorite part is I got to spend a couple months in Montreal (my hometown)! I don’t live there anymore, but it remains the best city in the world, especially in the summer, so it was a real joy to be back home for a little while. But, in the end, what’s been really amazing for me has been witnessing the audience’s reactions to the show. It feels like ‘The Bold Type’ is telling an important story, sending an important message at a critical time, and people are really responding well to that. There’s a lot going on the series — it’s dealing with working life, feminism, friendship, politics, journalism, relationships — and I’m just excited to be a very small part of this big, ambitious show.

Should we expect any twists in the love affair between Ryan and Jane?

Jeannotte: All I can say is like any love affair worth talking about, it will not be straightforward and it will not be simple. Jane will have to figure out if this “thing” she has with Pinstripe Guy should be more than just a “thing”. The fact that she keeps referring to him as Pinstripe is a little window into her mindset: she’s trying to keep herself a bit removed from the situation, and she’s trying not to get invested. We’ll see how that works out for them…

Does Ryan have pure intentions with Jane?

Jeannotte: Let me ask you this: does JANE have pure intentions with Ryan? What are either of them hoping to get out of this? At first, at least, all they want is some fun sex, which is fine, obviously, as long as both of them are on the same page. What’s fun about watching the relationship between these two characters evolve is that neither of them knows where it’s headed. They THINK they know what they want from the other one, but as we learn, they’re both wrong.

It seemed at first like maybe Ryan was a jerk, or a casual misogynist, but as the audience is starting to see he’s not a two-dimensional caricature. He’s a decent guy, trying to be a better man. His column, even though it’s “just” for a men’s magazine, is one of the ways he tries to improve himself and the guys who read his work: by challenging male assumptions about women and relationships. He’s going to end up challenging Jane’s ideas as well. This is the great, dynamic thing about #Janestripe: they challenge each other.

What was your favorite scene to shoot?

Jeannotte: I can’t give anything away, but let’s just say, there’s an episode where a number of characters get stuck in the same place together for a stretch of time. There may or may not be alcohol and bad dancing involved. Those were some very fun nights of shooting.

After Reign finished shooting, what were you looking to do / what type of character were you looking for?

Jeannotte: I have a background in comedy; I’ve been working with a sketch and improv troupe for over 15 years. However, most of the film and TV work I’ve done has been dramatic. Certainly, ‘Reign’ was a hugely fun show to work on, but it was an intense, dramatic, life-or-death kind of storyline. Once that was over, I was really hoping to find something lighter… maybe a character who would smile bit more often! When ‘The Bold Type’ came along, it just felt perfect. It’s funny, but it’s also grounded in these real, relatable characters, and the comedy is a nice counterweight to the serious issues that the show tackles.

What is the atmosphere like on-set of The Bold Type? Who is the funniest of your co-stars?

Jeannotte: There was a real warm, enthusiastic vibe on set. From the producers and directors to the writers to the cast and crew, everyone was invested in making the show as good as it can be, which means everyone was open to each other’s ideas. There was a lot of collaboration, and the actors were given the freedom to ad-lib a bit, which is always fun.

All the main women — Meghann and Aisha and Katie — are very funny, always making me laugh and definitely cracking each other up! Some scenes took longer to shoot than they should have, just because people couldn’t keep straight faces… But I’d say the funniest person on set was probably Victor Nelli, our director/producer who was overseeing the whole season. He’d come up to us in between takes and whisper something to just one of the actors, then that actor would drop a whole new line into the middle of the scene which would catch us off guard or even make us crack up. He’s a prankster, that Victor!

 

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The Bold Type airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Freeform. Follow Canary Sisters on Twitter!

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