Many may recognize Northampton native Jenn Gotzon Chandler, as she’s had her fair share of roles in many Christian productions, including “Doonby” and “God’s Country.” BELLA was so fortunate to talk to Jenn about her starring role in “My Daddy is in Heaven,” as well as looking into her humble beginnings and having a peak at what’s to come.
When did you start acting?
When I came out of the womb. No, I’m just kidding. I’m sure I was acting up as soon as I came out of the womb but professionally, it was when I was 15 years old. That was when I was inspired by a movie featuring Dolly Parton. When I watched it (in my hometown surrounded by farms), she really spoke to my heart.
In that moment I knew that that is what I wanted to do – to evoke that feeling from people as well. I wanted to make people laugh, entertain them, but also have a moment of inspiration and hope to impact the viewer so that feel that they gained wisdom in their soul that will ultimately help them become a better person.
Who inspires you in the industry?
From an acting aspect, Meryl Streep. Her transparent transformation is just fascinating to me. Kate Winslet has also really fascinated and from an element of charm and believability, definitely Reese Witherspoon.
Recently though, one of my co-stars in My Daddy is in Heaven Jill Morrison, has captivated me by her ability at comedy. She’s a comedic genius! It’s been so fun watching Jill’s work to see how she gets into that comedic rhythm. John Schneider from Doonby was also very inspiring. Ernie Hudson has helped me learn that you don’t need to stay in an emotional state for an hour before filming – you can get into that phase literally within 30 seconds. I think it’s important that we learn from the veterans in the industry!
How do you relate to your character, Becca in the film? What was the most challenging part about bringing the character to life for you?
Thank you so much for asking that! Rebecca experienced the loss of a loved one and went through a very deep, intense grieving process. I related to that because I’ve experienced loss in my life. I believe most people have gone through some type of loss or unfortunately will experience it at some point during their lives. That was the state I was able to connect into to try to paint that pain, that grief, that tragedy, as honest as I possibly could.
What sort of audience do you think this film will attract?
Loss can be felt in so many ways – a break up, job loss, depression, it comes in many forms. Our ultimate goal is to bring hope to people who are feeling hopeless.
Do you have a favorite memory from filming?
When my husband was on set, he plays the love interest at the end of the movie and that was just so much fun! The love and the joy and excitement that sparkles from that new hope is really coming from a genuine place of looking into my husband’s eyes.
How do you define beauty?
Beauty is finding your Mojo. Let me define “Mojo.”
M – Believing you are a Magnificent Masterpiece.
O – Obedience to the calling you were created for.
J – Be a Joyful Giver, a servant of others.
O – Have an Open Heart to realize that God created you with a great purpose.
So, beauty to me is when we find our mojo and live that daily. When we service others it is more beautiful than putting on the right type of mascara because the character of love is shared and I just look as Jesus Christ as my model, and I just see how he does it and how he serves people. That’s inspired my walk.
“My daddy is in Heaven” is available on Amazon, Voodoo, iTunes, Google Play, On-Demand via your Cable provider, and Walmart.
By Isadora Gomes