Q & A: Jaiven Natt

Jaiven Natt is a twelve year old, up-and-coming actor from Vancouver. Starting his career with a role in Arrow, Jaiven is best known for playing Robert in When Calls the Heart. Not only is he a talented actor, but he’s also an incredible dancer in several different styles ranging from hip hop to locking to breakdancing. I got to speak with Jaiven about his role as Robert, his passion for dance, and his life outside of acting.

What inspired you to become an actor?

Jaiven: Well, before I started acting, I would watch my favorite TV shows and see my favorite characters and I would remember what they would say. Then I would remake the scene. Then one day something popped up on my mom’s phone for acting, and here I am!

What were some of those favorite shows that inspired you?

Jaiven: Drake and Josh and a lot of Spider Man shows!

What were some of your first roles?

Jaiven: My first role was Arrow. It’s kind of funny because before I got my first show, I was always hoping that it would be a superhero show. So then when it was Arrow it was pretty cool! I played “Boy” and basically he just got saved by Black Canary.

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Going from that, how did you get the role of Robert?

Jaiven: Well I got the lines and I memorized them. I was excited because it was a recurring role! When I went into the audition everyone was wearing the suspenders and the old hats and boots, and they looked like they were from the 1900s. And I just had my plain beige shirt on with navy green pants and my half sneaker half boot shoes. But I went in there and I was happy because I got to meet the director and he loved me. We were making a lot of jokes. And then I just got it!

So what is it like working with so many other great young actors?

Jaiven: It’s just amazing! We got to school together. We’re together every second of the day and if we’re not, then we’re literally right beside each other in our trailers. I don’t even think of them as other actors or friends, they’re like family to me now.

In the bear episode, you had a lot of scenes with Jack Wagner. What was it like working with him?

Jaiven: It was so great! He was so nice! He gave me tips on what to do in the scene that could make it better for my part. He would always go over the scene with me. We would go behind the little barn and go over it. He wasn’t just there doing the scene, he was there with me, helping me and he made me feel comfortable.

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That’s great! So how is it working with all the other actors like Erin, Dan, Lori etc.?

Jaiven: They’re great! They’re really funny, especially Dan. Erin is so nice. And everything is just so amazing about them. It’s fun to work with them. It’s fun to be on the show!

I know a lot of the Hearties loved seeing you at this past reunion. What was is like for you to come into a show with such a strong fan base?

Jaiven: It’s amazing because When Calls the Heart is a great show, but it wouldn’t be as great without the Hearties. You guys complete the show! You guys make When Calls the Heart, When Calls the Heart. It would never be the same without you guys. It was a little hectic when I went in because it was my first fan meet up, but it was really fun! I got to find out where all the fans are from and there were a lot of cute kids!

What has been your favorite scene to film and which one has been your most difficult scene to film?

Jaiven: My favorite scene to film was with Jack Wagner, because it was my first scene and my only scene that I got to work with him. Well, not my only scene but my only scene with just the two of us where I got to work with him. So that was nice! I would have to say my hardest scene would be the one where I was showing Cody the dollar Opal’s parents gave me in the bear episode. It was really hard because me and Peter, the director, were doing these exercises to really get me in my character. I had to get more and more sad, and I had to bring my emotions all the way down to this point where my heart was like about to burst. I had to look like I was about to cry. So it was a really hard scene to film, but I was happy because I got to film it with Carter!

I can imagine. How do you prepare yourself for a scene that is so emotionally taxing?

Jaiven: Well I just try to act as sad as I can, but usually the directors help me out with being even more sad to get me to the point where it’s perfect.

Is there any piece of advice that you have received that you would offer other kids that are going into acting?

Jaiven: I would just say be outgoing! Don’t be afraid if there is an audition that maybe you feel uncomfortable doing. Or if they ever put you on the spot don’t worry if you mess up the scene. And if you ever feel like “man, I didn’t get it,” that’s ok because there are always a lot of other auditions.

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Let’s get into some more fun questions! What song do you currently have on repeat?

Jaiven: Shape of You by Ed Sheeran. My mom is a big fan of his!

What do you like to do in your free time?

Jaiven: I like to dance! I like to play guitar just a little bit. I like to go scootering a lot. And I go to the skate park.

I’ve heard you’re quite the dancer! When did you start and what drew you to dance?

Jaiven: Well I started dancing when I was two and a half years old. Michael Jackson was my everything! He was my idol! He inspired to me to dance and he was just amazing. I was so sad when he passed away. So every year that I would be dancing, I would get better and I would be performing his songs with his clothes on at weddings and other places.

That’s so cool! So what styles do you dance?

Jaiven: More hip hop and breakdance, but my favorite dance style would be locking because I know a lot of moves. But I do all styles like popping and whacking.

Wow! That’s very impressive! I watched the season of So You Think You Can Dance when they had little kids on and I was impressed. So I can only imagine how good you are! 

Jaiven: Thank you! Oh yeah, I watched some of it too on YouTube!

So what would your dream role be someday?

Jaiven: My dream role, I am going to sound like a baby, but I want to be a superhero when I grow up! I want to be in a superhero movie and I want to have the costume and everything! (Laughs)

That’s awesome! Who doesn’t want to be a superhero?

Jaiven: Yeah but if I didn’t want to do that or I never get a superhero role, then I would probably want to be in a dance movie!

Yes! Like the Step Up movies?

Jaiven: Yeah! Step Up! Those are my favorite!

So then what is your all time favorite movie?

Jaiven: My all time favorite movie would be, I can’t even think of it right now, but for now I think it would be Step Up 3! I like it because they brought in the twins. But my favorite character from all the Step Up movies is Moose!

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Are there any new projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

Jaiven:  Well I’ve been put on hold a lot and I’ve gotten really close. I’ve also gone to auditions out in LA, but I am not really doing anything right now. I am just catching up on my dance and school. I did recently have an audition so I hope it went well. I had to audition with my mom though, so it was weird. (Laughs)

Finally, is there anything else we can expect to see from Robert this season?

Jaiven: Well I think there will be some more speaking. I am really not too sure. He’ll still be the same Robert, but nicer and you’ll see why. Hopefully we get a season 5!

It was truly such a pleasure talking to Jaiven. He has such an outgoing, friendly personality and he had me laughing the whole time. You can really tell that he enjoys what he does and loves life. It’s so refreshing to see a young boy who is so humble and constantly has a smile on his face. I definitely hope we’ll be seeing a lot more of Jaiven potentially in season 5! I am sure we will be seeing much more of this talented young man because his future is certainly bright! You can see Jaiven on When Calls the Heart, which airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on Hallmark. Keep up with everything Jaiven is doing by following him on his social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaivennatt

Instagram: http://instagram.com/jaiven_natt

*Photo Credit to Crown Media, Parade, and Jaiven’s Twitter
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