When it comes to a dad’s bragging rights, having your son appear in not one, but two Superbowl commercials is hard to beat.
Especially when said son was less than five years old at the time.
Jett Klyne appeared in his first commercial at the age of five months. He’s now five years old, and has just wrapped production on his second movie, The Boy, a thriller filmed at Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria.
His father, Paul, was sure his son should be in film when he first laid eyes on him.
“When he was born, he was so cute. I wanted to share him with the world,” said Paul.
The agent they found agreed with Paul and immediately put the baby up for a Gerber commercial.
“He was so gung ho, and I knew the type of commitment that involves,” said Jett’s mother Destinee, an actress herself. She told Paul to expect to go to a lot of casting calls before Jett was selected for anything.
But Jett was selected for that first Gerber commercial out of hundreds of competing babies.
“They booked him off the first casting,” said Destinee.
Besides shooting the Gerber commercial, Jett has appeared in eight other commercials, including twice on Superbowl Sunday for E-Trade, as well as two movies.
Jett was uncharacteristically quiet and shy while being interviewed, which Destinee said was unusual for the young actor, who had no problem with telling the director on The Boy his concerns about his role in the movie.
“He had no lines in this one. He told the director that too,” said Destinee.
Jett’s concerns about not having lines is well-founded, according to Destinee, who said her son has a talent for memorizing lines that lets him audition for roles intended for older children.
“He can learn 18 lines, and just bangs them off,” said Destinee.
He’s also quick to point that out.
“I used to get a lot of lines when I was four and three,” he said.
At auditions, where older actors are reading from cue cards, Destinee said Jett will just go in and bang off the scene.
“All I do is try to remember my lines,” said Jett, who often causes jaws to drop when he says “I can’t read, I just know my lines.”
The Boy, starring Lauren Cohan of the Walking Dead, centres on a nanny (Cohan) who takes on a job overseeing a lifelike doll by a couple who treat it as a real child. The couple use the doll as way to cope with the death of their young son, but the nanny becomes increasingly convinced that it is alive.
“Jett is the boy in The Boy,” said Paul. As a star, Paul said his son got star treatment, from his own trailer on set to a fancy hotel room to stay in while not filming.
“The pool was awesome,” chimes in Jett.
Destiny and Paul are doing their best to keep Jett from getting a swelled head from all the attention he gets on set.
“Everybody wants to spoil him,” said Paul, while Destiny chimed in that Jett gets accustomed to the star treatment quickly.
“We bring him back to reality real quick,” she said. “We get back in the car and yes means yes and no means no.”
Acting in a movie is a big step for Jett, as he moves out of commercials and small projects, into a major Hollywood film.
“An overnight success takes 15 years,” said Destiny. “There is a big mystique around it … it sounds very glamorous. But it is a whole lot of hurry-up and wait.”
“It’s fledging, but he is off to a real good start.”
But Jett is still very much a little boy, complaining about how itchy the wool suit — tailor-made for him in New York — was to wear.
Jett, who is home-schooled, likes playing with Lego, and competing in BMX.
And like many little boys, he has his movie heros. But perhaps unlike his friends, Jett doesn’t want to be the superhero characters in the films he loves. Instead, he wants to play them.
On a recent trip Vancouver, Jett saw a scene for the upcoming Deadpool movie being filmed.
When he next saw his agent, he told her, according to Destinee.
“I saw Deadpool. I would like to be Deadpool if they make another one,” said Jett, who admits to also wanting to play The Flash.