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John Bell Q&A

We got the chance to ask 13-year-old actor John Bell some questions about his new movie, A Shine of Rainbows, as well as his career, his friends and family, and some of his fave things!

Watch an exclusive clip for A Shine of Rainbows, which comes out on DVD March 15, then check out our Q&A with the very talented, very cute John Bell!



Kidzworld: Hi John! Thanks for talking to us! What is your new movie, A Shine of Rainbows, about?

  • John: Hi! The movie is about an orphan called Tomas, which is the character I play, who is adopted by Maire and Alec. Maire brings colour and magic into Thomas’ gray and lonely life but Alec needs a lot more convincing before he is able to warm to Tomas.

Kidzworld: Is this the first feature film you’ve been in?

  • John: Yes I have done some television work in the U.K. but this is my first movie.

Kidzworld: How did you first get into acting? How old were you?

  • John: I was 7 and auditioned for a part in a play in Glasgow and won it.

Kidzworld: Where were you born?

  • John: I was born in a town called Paisley, which is in Scotland.

Kidzworld: How did you get this part in A Shine of Rainbows? What was the audition process like?

  • John: As I had done a few things on TV in the U.K. I had an agent who asked me to some scenes from the film onto video. This was sent to the casting directors who asked me to go to London where I met the director and acted out some other scenes from the film. I then had a third round of auditions where I then had to go to Dublin in Ireland where I performed my scenes for the director and producers of the film. Then I got a phone call saying I had got the part.
John Bell: A Shine of RainbowsCourtesy of Think Jam / Fox Publicity

Kidzworld: What’s the most fun thing about acting? What’s the hardest thing?

  • John: Traveling and meeting lots of different people is the most fun, hardest is hearing no when you have been for an audition

Kidzworld: Is it easy or hard to cry on cue? How do you do it?

  • John: It depends if the other actor or the director and I have a connection then I can cry quite easily as I am at that moment in the zone however if the other actors or director and I are not connecting it can feel quite false when I cry.

Kidzworld: How did you like working with the other actors in this film? Did you form any special bonds with anyone?

  • John: All the cast were fabulous to work with. As I was away from home and my mum and dad, Connie Neilsen who plays Maire in the film became my second mum whilst on set and I formed a very close bond with her.

Kidzworld: What’s it like being friends with the other actors in real life and then having to act like you dislike each other on set?

  • John: It is actually quite easy because you know that you can really go for it during a scene and you will still be talking afterwards. It can actually be good fun being mean to each other knowing you are only pretending.
John Bell: A Shine of RainbowsCourtesy of Think Jam / Fox Publicity

Kidzworld: You’ve played a lot of orphans so far in your acting career – do you know why? What other types of characters would you like to play in the future?

  • John: People say I look like an orphan, must be the big eyes and blond hair like Oliver! I would love to play a really evil baddie and try to take over the world.

Kidzworld: Do you have any brothers or sisters in real life?

  • John: No I am an only child.

Kidzworld: How do you manage to speak in a different accent when you’re acting?

  • John: For Shine of Rainbows the production company hired a fantastic dialect coach who taught me how to speak with an Irish accent.

Kidzworld: What was it like working with an animitronic seal?!

  • John: It was really fun, at times in between filming the guys who operate the seal would make it look around and dance, which was really funny.

Kidzworld: Did you get to see any REAL Irish rainbows when you were working on this movie?

  • John: No the weather for the whole 8 weeks I filmed was beautiful and sunny. Apparently it was the driest weather they had had in the area for over 40 years!


Kidzworld: What do your friends at home think about your being an actor?

  • John: A lot of my friends were a bit surprised at the start when they heard I was an actor but now they pretty much see it as just me and when I am not at school they know I have probably been called away for an audition. my friends quite often watch me when I am on TV and let me know what they though afterwards. They are almost always very nice.

Kidzworld: How do you juggle school and work when you’re on a movie set?

  • John: When filming the production company employ a tutor for myself and any other kids and the rules that allow kids to work on movies makes sure I get a certain amount of time with my tutor every day I am on set.

Kidzworld: What do you like to do in your spare time, when you’re not working?

Kidzworld: Let’s play favorites:

  • Favorite color: Red
  • Favorite animal: Panda bears
  • Favorite band: Iron Maiden
  • Favorite TV show: Glee
  • Favorite movie: Up
  • Favorite book: Never Let Me Go
  • Favorite video game: Mario Kart
  • Favorite sport: American Football (Go Saints!)
  • Favorite season: Fall
  • Favorite food: Sushi
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