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HTZ SITS DOWN WITH EMILY ALYN LIND TO DISCUSS HER NEW MOVIE "DEAR DUMB DIARY"!
Photo Credit: Hallmark Channel

HTZ SITS DOWN WITH EMILY ALYN LIND TO DISCUSS HER NEW MOVIE "DEAR DUMB DIARY"!

Barely into her double digits, Los Angeles native Emily Alyn Lind is already taking Hollywood by storm. With a successful actress for a mother, whose most recent television credits include starring as Deb Scott in “One Tree Hill”, and a successful assistant director father, whose film credits include “Legend of the Falls” and “Soul Server”, it was only a matter of time before this bubbly 11-year-old young actress followed in her parents footsteps.

The acting bug first showed up when Emily was just five years old. She landed her first movie role portraying a young Dakota Fanning in “The Secret Life of Bees”. After making a splash on the big screen, Emily’s career took a turn for primetime playing Emily Gardener in the short lived series Eastwick. She went on to film a variety made-for-television movies and received rave reviews for her portrayal of a young cancer patient named Vanessa Marks in “November Christmas”. She landed guest starring roles on several popular television series including Medium, Flashpoint, Criminal Minds and Hawaii Five-O before landing her current role on the ABC primetime series “Revenge”.

With an acting resume that would make any adult actress jealous, there was still one last thing that Emily had not been able to do; combine acting and singing into one role. That dream was fulfilled when she landed the role of Jamie Kelly in the upcoming movie “Dear Dumb Diary”, which airs this Friday on The Hallmark Channel. “I heard that there was music in it and I screamed my lungs out because I love music so much,” Emily shared with us. “I feel like music and acting are on the same level for me.”

HTZ SITS DOWN WITH EMILY ALYN LIND TO DISCUSS HER NEW MOVIE "DEAR DUMB DIARY"!
Photo Credit: Hallmark Channel/Fred Hayes

Based upon the popular book series of the same title penned by Jim Benton, “Dear Dumb Diary” is a full-blown musical production that follows an artistic and energetic glitter-loving middle school girl with a huge imagination who loves to express herself through art. When she finds out that the art program at her school is being cut, Jamie and her best friend Isabella goes on an exciting adventure to try and save the program. Oh and she also writes down all of her thoughts and fantasies, which just happens to include her biggest crush Hudson Rivers, in her diary.

Emily shares all the deets about her new movie “Dear Dumb Diary” and her character Jamie Kelly with HTZ. Check out our interview with Emily below!

HTZ SITS DOWN WITH EMILY ALYN LIND TO DISCUSS HER NEW MOVIE "DEAR DUMB DIARY"!
Photo Credit: Hallmark Channel/Fred Hayes

Can you tell us a little about the plot of “Dear Dumb Diary”, which is airing on Hallmark Channel this month? “Dear Dumb Diary” is a movie musical about Jamie Kelly in middle school who is basically trying to figure out who she is with the help of her best friend Isabella, her enemy Angeline and the boy of her dreams, Hudson Rivers.

Can you describe your character Jamie Kelly for us? I really like Jamie. Actually, before I auditioned for this I didn’t know anything about it, but I heard of the books. When I got it I read all of the books. At first I thought that I was nothing like Jamie, but then I read them and I thought, “wow I relate to her so much”. I feel like a lot of people can relate to her. The cool thing about Jamie is that she does not want to be someone she is not, she wants to be herself. She doesn’t give into peer pressure and she dares to be different -- that is what I love about her.

How is that as an actress to take these characters from a popular book series and bring them to life on screen in a TV movie? It’s kind of stressful because you want to do it right, you know? Jim Benton took years and did all of those books, and you want to show him you can be Jamie – that you want to be Jamie. That was a little stressful because when you are doing a movie where they wrote the script and they are just turning it into a movie it’s just a movie and you can be someone else and you can kind of do your own stuff, but when it based on a book you have to definitely do exactly what Jamie did and have the facial expressions that Jamie had in the book. I figured out that I am a lot like Jamie. It was really fun to do that because she is an awesome person, she is cool, she is funny. And the thing I like about it is that it is a comedy, but she isn’t cheesy or over the top – she is cool and real. It was great to play her.

You must have had so much fun on a set like that. Oh yes!

HTZ SITS DOWN WITH EMILY ALYN LIND TO DISCUSS HER NEW MOVIE "DEAR DUMB DIARY"!
Photo Credit: Hallmark Channel/David Mazouz

What was your favorite scene to film? It was probably not a scene, but the musical numbers were awesome – I really liked “Just A Number”. I mean, there were a trillion cute boys around me (laughs) – that and that it was so fun to shoot because I got in this beautiful pink dress and I had back up dancers. The dancers were amazing. It is saying all of the cutest boys from one to eight, and the eighth cutest boy is Hudson Rivers. Jamie introduces everyone in her fantasy. She introduces all of the boys from one to eight. And when she comes out of her fantasy the entire class is watching her dance around with her diary. Jamie’s mind is so full of fantasies and that was really cool about her because we went into so many musical numbers and I got to dress up in so many cool things. It was such an amazing movie to shoot – I loved it so much.

Speaking of the “Just A Number” musical number, you actually got the chance to work with your sister in that scene. What was that like? That was really cool. She played Claire Vanderhied – the first cutest boy’s crush. That was cute because we love working together. We’ve only done about two movies together, but that was when we were littler. We did one called “Blood Done Sign My Name” and that was really fun. I always love working with my family whenever I can. Actually, in my free time all I do is make movies with my sisters and my mom and dad. I actually have one coming out soon it’s called “The Last Birthday” and it’s going to go on YouTube. I did it for my birthday because that is all I ever really want to do. Me and my sister make movies. So as much as we can work together, we try to because we love it.

You got the chance to work with Laura Bell Bundy, who is known for her musical theatre background and incorporating her music, choreography and acting all in one performance – what was it like getting the opportunity to work with her on this project? She was amazing. In real life you know how you always have that cool Aunt that is just the awesome Aunt? She takes you shopping and spoils you. You have that one person in your family that you can just, if you want to be happy and have fun you just go with them and they are not strict or anything. She played that as a character, but she was also that in real life. She is such a cool person and even more cool to work with. When she stepped on set you would just completely laugh because she is full of jokes. She is so talented. She has this one scene, it’s like half of a dance number. It just stops and I say, “is it supposed to be a musical number?” and she says “sorry, budget cuts”. She learned that in like 5 seconds. She is an awesome singer – she sang a lot. She was an awesome person to have on set.

HTZ SITS DOWN WITH EMILY ALYN LIND TO DISCUSS HER NEW MOVIE "DEAR DUMB DIARY"!
Photo Credit: Hallmark Channel/Fred Hayes

The movie is set around saving the art program. Can you talk about the importance of having extracurricular activities like music and art in our schools today? I am a very imaginative person like Jamie. I am good with math, but what they say is when you have a really big imagination it is really hard for you to do math and focus on that stuff. The singing and the art program and all of these extra classes – It is very important to have these because that is how kids open up, you know? School is supposed to prepare you for the real world and if you are just doing math and having to sit through 4+4 every single day and do the same stuff, aren’t you supposed to be preparing for the real world? Art and musical theatre and all of these different things open yourself up to the world and that is what you need when you are older. I think that it is very important to have these because, I mean, if I didn’t have them then I would probably die (laughs).

I completely agree with you. These classes are a way for kids your age to be able to express themselves. Exactly! And with Jamie that is the only thing that expresses her. She has this huge imagination so she puts it down on paper in her art and that makes her happy. Once she finds out it is getting cancelled she will not let that happen because that is her life.

Jamie has definitely had her share of embarrassing moments in “Dear Dumb Diary” – from drifting off into her fantasy world and coming back to reality in her classroom to having her diary read in front of the entire school. With the new school year back in session what advice would you give kids trying to overcome embarrassing moments at school? I think you should just laugh about it. Jamie didn’t do that. I think you should just start laughing about it because if you are embarrassed and turn red everyone looks at you and then they will laugh at you and do all these things, but if you laugh about it and say it’s not a big deal and you don’t make it a big deal then they will just forget about it. In school a lot of that is going on. A lot of people like to talk about you behind your back or do all of this stuff, and if you give them nothing to talk about then they won’t talk about you. All you need to do is just say, “Hmph! Whatever! That is my imagination. That is who I am.” Just forget about what all of the other kids say like, “that is so embarrassing that you did that”. Just forget about it because that is who you are and you are awesome!

HTZ SITS DOWN WITH EMILY ALYN LIND TO DISCUSS HER NEW MOVIE "DEAR DUMB DIARY"!
Photo Credit: Hallmark Channel/Fred Hayes

One thing Jamie searches for within herself in this movie is finding her greatest strength. What do you think is Jamie’s greatest strength? Jamie is trying to find her inner beauty. She thinks that if she goes around and does fundraisers and does all this stuff that she will have inner beauty. She thinks that Angeline – her enemy, the beautiful girl – is horrible because she looks so pretty on the outside. She finds out later that the best way to get inner beauty and find her strength is to fight for something that she wants – to fight for the art program – and also to give people a chance. Always get to know someone. You can’t think, “oh look she has two pierced ears so she is a rockstar” or whatever. You can’t judge a book by its cover. I think Jamie learns that and figures out that she helped Angeline and Angeline actually helped her. She figured out that she has inner beauty because she helped someone even though she thought they were mean to her.

You have worked on so many movies and television shows that are centered around adult actors, what was it like going into this project where almost the entire cast were kids your own age? I know I always used to work with adults. I would always work with adults and it was always serious. It is such a change of pace. I said, “Mom, look this is all about kids in middle school. I get to actually work with people that are my own age and have fun on set.” She was like, “Yay!” So, I met the entire cast and of course they were the best ever! There is Sterling, David and Mary-Charles. They were such a joy to work with. Sometimes when you think you are about to work with other kids your age you think, “that is going to be bad to work with other kids my age because we all are going to goof around and then we are not going to get the scene done”, but they were all such professionals. They were just the best to work with. We would goof around during takes, but we also knew when to get serious. We all stayed in the same hotel and then apartments and we would just say, “Hey, do you want to go out to dinner?” And we would go downstairs to the restaurant. It was so fun and I am so sad that it is over, but we hope for a number two.

HTZ SITS DOWN WITH EMILY ALYN LIND TO DISCUSS HER NEW MOVIE "DEAR DUMB DIARY"!
Photo Credit: Hallmark Channel/Fred Hayes

There is a lot of different fashion in this movie, especially the outfits that Angeline gets to wear. What was your favorite outfit? That is really hard. The outfits were so amazing. They were fantastic. Another thing I love about Jamie is her clothes. I wish I could have that style every single day. When you see the movie you will too, I swear. She expresses her inner beauty in her clothes too. Probably my favorite outfit, ooh that is so hard. I mean, I love the “Just A Number” dress, but for a normal day for Jamie I love the outfit that she wears in “Perfect People”. It’s a jumpsuit and it’s really cute. She has this little brown hat on too. I love that. And you know what? I love Jamie’s sneakers. This is actually a really great fashion tip. For your sneakers, on the ends of them, if you have Converse – she drew on them and she drew these cool hearts and sayings. She would draw on the end of them where the white part is. It just makes your shoes look so unique and come alive. I just love her style.

In “Dear Dumb Diary” your character Jamie and her best friend Isabella have spy names. Do you have any spy names with your friends in real life? Actually, I do. It’s kind of embarrassing. I have one with my best friend, her name is Jemma. She calls me Emily Bellemily (laughs). I call her Jems. We also call each other unicorns, because we love unicorns, and mermaids.

HTZ SITS DOWN WITH EMILY ALYN LIND TO DISCUSS HER NEW MOVIE "DEAR DUMB DIARY"!
Photo Credit: Hallmark Channel/Fred Hayes

This movie is tying in with Hallmark Channel’s Family Movie Night. What is one movie that your family is looking forward to seeing together? There is this new movie coming out called “Finding Dory” that is coming out that my sister Aly really wants to see, she’s my younger sister. I thought I would like to see that too, so my whole family agreed that we would go see that. It’s like a spin-off of “Finding Nemo”, but (it’s called) “Finding Dory”.

What is your favorite accessory to dress up an outfit? I like tons and tons of bracelets. Tons of different bracelets. And long necklaces; really long ones. I have this one that has a whistle at the bottom and that is really cool. And tons and tons of bracelets that stack up. That just makes the outfit.

Check out the trailer for the movie below! Then tune into the Hallmark Channel this Friday to catch the premiere of "Dear Dumb Diary". Make sure you head over to our contest corner to find out how YOU could enter to win a copy of the soundtrack and DVD of "Dear Dumb Diary".


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JUNE 6-9, 2013


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