Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

Interview With Giles & Jocelyn Panton

Today I have the extreme pleasure of sharing my interview with Giles & Jocelyn Panton with you all.  This wonderful couple agreed to a joint interview in anticipation of both of them being in Hallmark Channel's A Gingerbread Romance this coming Sunday! This was such a fun interview and I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did conducting it. I assure you, there was laughter and humor aplenty while on the phone with this lovely couple! So without further ado, let's get started!

Mercy: What sparked an interest in acting for each of you?
Jocelyn: Well, for me it started at a really young age. I must've been between 4 - 6. A musical came to my hometown (I grew up in Abbotsford, BC), and they were singing, acting, and dancing and I just fell in love and felt like it reached my heart. I felt like this is what I've got to do. I've had a passion for acting ever since!
Giles: And then for me, I didn't know at the time that it was going to steer me toward acting, but I was young, probably 7 or 8. You remember the Ernest movies? Like Ernest goes to Camp and all those ones?
Mercy: Yes! :)
Giles: So my dad and I went to watch, I think it was Ernest goes to Jail. We were going to watch that and we got there about 10 minutes late. It was this small theater and the only other movie that was playing was The Hunt For Red October - which was not a kids movie! :) My dad slowly turned to me and he was like, "Hey, let's go watch this one," and I said, "Yeah."  For a young kid, it was such a powerful experience, it kind of opened my world in a lot of ways. I think at that moment I got bit by the acting bug.  I was like ,"Wow, you can do ALL that in a movie!" It wasn't until later that I got into it but I think that's when I got nudged towards it.

Mercy: How did you two meet?
Jocelyn: It was actually through the industry! I had booked my first professional job which was Percy Jackson and The Lightning Seeds. I don't know if you remember that, it came out in 2010. I became friends with one of the other cast members and she introduced me to Giles.

Giles: And that's how we met! :)
Jocelyn: We started dating pretty much right away, within the week!

Mercy: Can you both share about your roles in A Gingerbread Romance?
Giles with Duane (Henry)

Giles: Absolutely! I play an old classmate and colleague of Tia Mowry's. We're both architects in rival architecture firms now. And I'd say I'm a really friendly guy who's a bit competitive but still kind in his heart. I'm there to challenge Tia the whole way through this giant gingerbread baking competition where we are pretty much going head to head in that as well. It's a lot of friendly jabbing, a lot of fun rivalry.
Jocelyn with Tia (Mowry)
Jocelyn: And then I'm playing Wendy.  I'm (Tia's character) Taylor's neighbor and best friend. I am on Tia's team for what you will see happen. So pretty much really supportive for Taylor and whatever she is accomplishing in her life, the cheerleader there for everything.  Just really tight, good friends!

Mercy: What is the most rewarding part of being an actress and actor?
Jocelyn: I think the challenge of it.  Sometimes it can get hard and sometimes you are working really hard and don't get a lot of time off. And then something happens, whether you book a role or walk out of an audition, that was really challenging to start out with but you feel really good about what it was or even being in acting class. When you're surprised at yourself, I think that's the biggest thing.  Experiencing the magic that can be there.
Giles: Mine's similar.  There's so many great things about my career and there's so many tough things about this career. But at the end of the day, I'd say the most rewarding part for me is when I get to work on a project that really means something to me. And it's truly a collaboration between the writer, director, the actors, & the producers. We're really all a big team together, and it's the kind of project that takes me to places that I would not go in my life.  I guess in a weird, crazy way, explore all the bounds of human experience in the extremes that we get to go through in film because fortunately, most of us don't have to go to the insane extremes in our day to day lives.  In a work sense, it's very fulfilling.
Jocelyn: We get to walk in the shoes of lots of different types of people and that's really neat too!

Mercy: Is this the first movie the two of you have worked on together? And if so, what was it like?

Jocelyn: This is not, actually!
Giles: This is the second movie this year we've been in together.  Ironically, it's interesting because the first movie we were in together was a murder mystery and we were in the same scene, but not in the same scene.  I was a detective and the lead and I were working to solve this crime and in the scene, this very important information was being delivered to us by a reporter on tv who was Jocelyn!
Jocelyn: So I appeared in a couple of the scenes that Giles was in but I was on the TV. :) So we didn't actually get to work on set together that day but it was pretty cool to have a movie come out that we've both been in.
So A Gingerbread Romance was the first that we actually are in the same scene on the same day.  It was really nice! We didn't actually talk because we are on opposing teams
Giles: We didn't talk to each other, we do talk in the movie :)
Jocelyn Yes, we talk in the movie! :) We just don't talk to each other. We didn't really get to do scenes where we are acting together. More just like driving to set and hanging out behind the scenes, which is really nice, being with your partner.
Giles: It was also funny because the director, Richard Gabai (a fantastic guy), he did not know that we were married when he hired us. And when he found out, he was like, "This is ridiculous!"It was hilarious, very funny.  Everyone on set just had a great time. They were like, "Hey, you guys are married!" :) It was unique and fun!

Mercy: What do you each like to do in your free time?
Jocelyn: Lots of things! We live in Vancouver near the ocean, and I like to go walking. I love being out in nature. I am OBSESSED with Pinterest. I spend a lot of my time when I'm not with friends and family or watching my new favorite tv show, I'm probably on Pinterest.  And usually, I'm figuring out how to decorate my home.  We're actually planning a trip to Japan, so recently I've been spending a lot of time figuring out the things we can do in Japan.
Giles: She's like an amateur trip planner.  When she starts to plan a trip, it becomes like a job. It's funny to watch!
Jocelyn: I love it!
Giles: Yeah! I guess I'm a creature of my industry. When I have free time, I love to find crazy new shows to watch. Especially international shows, I love watching shows from different countries. I'm a fan of subtitles but not dubbing, I think they take away from the original performance. But I love seeking out new art, mainly visual. I'm not the kind of guy to go to a museum unless we're on a holiday somewhere; I love seeing the history of a place.  Aside from that, hanging out with friends and working on crazy characters for voice work - but that's kind of part of the job.  I'm also a big fan of the video game arts. I've voiced a bunch of them because I do a lot of voice acting also.  I have a lot of appreciation of what goes into a good performance for a video game.  Some of the visuals and things like that, the stories that they make.  This isn't the Nintendo days anymore, it's pretty fascinating what they're able to pull off.  Just the complex stories. So I guess overall, I know I'm rambling, but I appreciate good stories.  So in my off time, I try to find them be it through movies or tv shows or whatever the media.


Mercy: What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Giles: We're just starting to form them as a young, new family. We are just starting to build our own.
Jocelyn: Yeah, we've been married for three and a half years now but this is probably-- we had a couple floods
Giles: Literal floods! We weren't in our home for them.
Jocelyn: And last year, we went to Italy. So this is our first year IN the home. But I think for me, my favorite thing is I grew up on-- my mom is an amazing cook and baker and there's a whole bunch of cookies she made every single year that are my favorites. So now I'm learning how to make them myself so that's becoming one of my favorite things to do.  Baking them and filling the home with those smells.
Giles: I think there's some magic that goes into those recipes.  They have a mint cookie that literally makes your mouth colder with the minty-ness of it.  I think there's some kind of sorcery involved.  They're literally amazing!  That has become one of my favorite traditions - eating those mouth breathing cookies! :)
Jocelyn: And the jam-jams, they're so good!
Giles: For me, it's been in my family forever, it's like a little Christmas village that lights up.  It's so important for me to have one of those. When my grandmother passed away, she left me her little Christmas village.  It means a lot to me.  In our living room, we have our beautiful tree and we have this cute little gingerbread village that's lit up. And then we also have this little miniature Christmas village of 3 homes that light up from the inside, so it looks like they're just full of warmth.  There are little trees that you put around them, and little porcelain figures.  I don't know, it brings me back to all these great feelings of being a little kid. And I also love everything miniature, so there's that fun, nerdy side to it too. For me, I will always want a little miniature Christmas light-up village.

Mercy: Favorite Christmas song?
Giles: Oh, Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You! I love that one, there's just something about that.

Jocelyn: It's so good!
I also like Oh Holy Night.  It stands out to me a lot because we were going to a Christmas service once and the guy at the front was asking, "What song should we play?" And this lady yells out, "Fall on your knees, fall on your knees!"
Giles: What?!? :)
Jocelyn: So that song has a lot of hilarious memories for me, it was a really fun moment. But it's a really beautiful song.
Giles: I'm learning things about my wife right now. I never heard that story before! :)

Mercy: Favorite Christmas food?
Jocelyn: I love turkey dinner!
Giles: Aw man, mashed potatoes and gravy!
Jocelyn: I would eat a whole plate of stuffing with gravy on top if I could!
Giles: She's like a sauce monster.  If there's gravy at the table, she'll fill her plate with it. :)

Mercy: Favorite Christmas movie?
Giles: It's very non-traditional, but I love Die Hard!  I know it's not a Christmas movie but it is for me. My second is Home Alone.

Jocelyn: I would say Home Alone for sure. And Love, Actually!
Giles: Oh, that was an adorable movie!

Mercy: White or green Christmas?
Giles: I want a white Christmas but I don't want to have to drive in it.
Jocelyn: Yeah, I would choose a white also but only on Christmas Day because we have family that
lives an hour away.
Jocelyn: In Vancouver, we don't have the proper setup for snow so everyone just ends up in a ditch and it takes forever to get anywhere.
Giles: Yeah, everyone thinks Canada is cold but Vancouver is like this mild paradise.  It rarely ever snows, and when it does everyone freaks out!

Mercy: Lastly, do either of you have upcoming project you can share with us?
Jocelyn: Yes! On Monday night (Dec 10th), I'm in an episode of DC Legends Of Tomorrow on CW
Giles: She plays an amazing character!

Jocelyn's character in LOT
Jocelyn: It's a really cool character, and then of course Gingerbread Romance on Dec 16th. And then next year, I have a few projects coming out. I don't know the dates.  One of them is called Besties, it's a LifeTime mystery. And then Critters, the reboot of the 80s film.
Giles: It was like a campy horror movie with these little fur-ball monsters from space that ate people. She's in the remake of it.  She has one of my favorite lines in it but I can't say it because it's too rude. :). I'm a huge nerd of horror movies so I'm excited for her with that one.
 And then for me, I have 4 projects coming out next week. On the Netflix tv show Travelers, I have a guest star in season three. Saturday (Dec 15th), I have a LifeTime movie Christmas movie called
Christmas PenPals, starring Sarah Drew from Grey's Anatomy and Niall Matter. And next Sunday, A
Giles with Sarah & Niall on set of Christmas PenPals

Gingerbread Romance (which I'm very excited about), and I also have Christmas On Holly Lane premiering on UPtv the same night.  Next weekend is when Travelers releases on Netflix, so between Friday and Sunday I have 4 projects coming out. A little crazy!

Giles, Jocelyn, Thank you both so much for taking the time to do this!  It was a pleasure to have you both on my blog.  Readers, this couple is a class-act and some of the most talented people I've seen in the industry.  If you have yet to see either of their work, I would encourage you to watch A Gingerbread Romance on Hallmark Channel this Sunday, as well as each of their individual projects coming up.  If you'd like, you can also follow their social media, I'll put the links below.

Giles Media

Jocelyn's Media