You love the books. You’ve been anxiously waiting for September 6th so you can watch the movie. But more than anything, you’ve been wondering who on Earth could bring the awesomely awesome Jamie Kelly to life? Our sentiments exactly! So we sat down recently for a very special interview with Emily Alyn Lind, 11-year-old star of Dear Dumb Diary. Key takeaways? Movie stars like to read the books their movies are based on, too! Meet Emily Alyn Lind, star of Dear Dumb Diary, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie based on the Dear Dumb Diary book series!
Scholastic: What’s it like to bring a popular book character to life?
Emily: I loved reading Jim Benton’s books, knowing that I would be portraying [Jamie]. It was almost like doing a movie based on a real story. The character already existed and it was my job to become Jamie Kelly. I really fell in love with Jamie in the books, so I couldn’t wait to play her.
Scholastic: Are you a lot like Jamie Kelly?
Emily: I didn’t think I was much like Jamie until I got to set and started to become her. I can relate to her being a little different than the other kids in school, wanting to fit in, but at the same time wanting even more badly to be herself. I think that’s what a lot of Jr. High kids go through. I think a lot of girls will relate to Jamie, whether they are the popular kids, or the not-so-popular. She’s just trying to figure out who she is.
Scholastic: Do you keep a diary of your own?
Emily: I’ve always kept a journal from the time I could write. I love to write ANYTHING, but especially my feelings. It really helps to get your emotions onto a page, then read them back. You learn so much about yourself. Also, when you read about a time that was difficult from a couple years before, sometimes you realize that it really wasn’t that bad, that you got through it! I’m not as crazy as Jamie about hiding my journals or putting padlocks on them. I pretty much tell my family everything anyway, so it’s not a big deal if they want to sit down and read about my life!
Scholastic: What do you think are Jamie’s mom’s worst food-crimes?
Emily: I love when Jamie walks into the kitchen and sees something still moving in a boiling pot of water. What I like about Jamie’s mom’s character is that she tries so hard to make her family happy. She’s a really good mom, just not a great cook! It’s OK; my family is usually so busy that we get take-out sushi almost every night. As long as we’re all eating as a family, it doesn’t matter what it is we’re eating!
Scholastic: Do you have any pets? Are they like Stinker at all?
Emily: I love when I’m asked about pets because it’s my favorite subject! My dog’s name is Georgie. She’s a 5 lb. blonde Maltipoo, and she is my life! I have so much fun when my characters own pets because it makes me think of Georgie. Georgie isn’t as stinky as Stinker, but she hangs out in my room a lot and I talk to her the same way. Next to my sisters, she’s really my best friend. Because Jamie is an only child, I think Stinker IS her best friend.
Scholastic: Who is the Isabella in your life?
Emily: It might sound kind of corny, but I’m really close to my sisters, Natalie and Aly. I tell them everything and we’re so different and alike at the same time . . . just like Isabella. We can disagree about things, but then the next day we’re laughing and best friends again. It’s so important to have a best friend, someone you can share everything with. In Isabella’s case, she may not always do the right thing, but in the end, we have each other’s backs.
Scholastic: When you’re not on set or in school, what are your favorite hobbies?
Emily: I love to sing, write music, play guitar, make music videos, anything music related! We also produce our own movies at home. We take turns writing, directing, and starring in them. We just made a horror/comedy that was actually pretty good!
Every week, we have family movie night where we rent an old movie. My mom wants us to know all of the classics. One of my faves is Airplane (rated PG), which was directed by our Executive Producer Jerry Zucker. It’s probably the funniest movie ever made!
Scholastic: What are you reading right now?
Emily: I’m actually finishing up the Dear Dumb Diary book series right now! I was given all the books but only got through the first half during production. I love seeing where Jamie is heading. She’s such a funny and unpredictable character. I feel so lucky to be playing her. I can’t wait to see what she’s up to next!
Dear Dumb Diary airs on the Hallmark Channel Friday, September 6th at 8 p.m. Watch the trailer now!