ACTOR'S DIALOGUE Sibling Revelry

Jenna and Cayden Boyd have enjoyed a stellar year in their careers. Jenna won starring roles in two films of very differing styles: the David Spade comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star and the Western thriller The Missing, in which she played Cate Blanchett's determined daughter. Cayden appeared in the Disney comedy Freaky Friday, then found himself acting opposite such legends as Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon in the lauded Mystic River, in which he played a pivotal role of the son of Marcia Gay Harden and Tim Robbins and was directed by Clint Eastwood. Although it's unusual for two siblings to have such successful breakthrough years simultaneously, what's even more amazing is that she's 10, he's 9.

While the words "child actor" often conjure up imagines of an E! True Hollywood Story in the making, Jenna and Cayden are extremely well spoken and seem to have the right attitude about the often fickle world of Hollywood. Both enjoy sports—for Jenna it's ice-skating, for Cayden its football—and are pursuing athletics with the same amount of passion they put into movies. And both have sound advice for actors of any age.

BSW: So who got into acting first?

Jenna Boyd: It was me. My Mom put me in a model search when I was 2, and I started out just doing modeling and print and stuff, and then I did commercials and gradually, when we moved out to California, I did big movies like Dickie Roberts and The Missing, and it's been great. Somewhere in the process Cayden picked it up, and it was just kind of a thing where he said, 'Hey, Jenna's doing it, so I can probably do it.'"

Cayden Boyd: At first, I thought, How hard could it be? But when it came to the serious, crying parts in films, I was, like, Wow, that was hard!

BSW: You both had some tough scenes in your movies. How did you do those emotional crying scenes?

Jenna: I put myself in the character's situation. Like Dot [in The Missing], she's got a lot going on, and her life isn't exactly easy. In the 1800s, people had to go through a lot. I just put myself in her situation, because if you really think about it, her stepfather has died, her dad's friend has died, her sister's been kidnapped. That really can make you cry. And Cate made it as easy as possible, because she's sitting here getting all emotional, which is making me emotional.

Cayden: I just think of stuff that's really, really sad. My dad's an airline pilot, and we're really close, so I tend to think of some stuff that's really horrible happening, and I cry.

BSW: Then how do you snap out of it?

Cayden: You just say, Whew! Glad that's over.

Jenna: It's not exactly fun to do.

Cayden: It's tiring.

Jenna: Exactly, it's very, very draining. It's not exactly a thing that people like to do. So we're pretty glad when it's over with. I get out of it, and I go off and focus by myself.

BSW: Do you two go on lots of auditions?

Jenna: Not so much anymore. I'm not doing commercials anymore, because I just want to do movies. I think it's the same thing with Cayden. We're kind of being selective on the things we're doing right now. I don't have much going on right now, and we've just been meeting with directors and stuff, and that's pretty much it.

Cayden: I did audition for Mystic River. The callback was with Clint [Eastwood], but at first I didn't know about Dirty Harry. When my dad heard about the audition, he was, like, "No way, you have to audition with Dirty Harry?" He was so excited. I was, like, Who's that? When he told me, I was excited because I like action movies.

BSW: Do you ever get star-struck by the people you're working with?

Jenna: All the people I've worked with have been so great and so kind, and everyone has always been very cheerful. I don't think I've ever worked with a bad director or a bad actress or someone who wasn't nice to me. I think I've had a very good experience because none of them have been mean or anything. I had never seen any of Cate Blanchett's movies, because they aren't exactly kids' movies. But what I've seen in The Missing, I really look up to her now, and I hope that maybe when I grow up, I can be an actress like her. It's really an honor to be able to work with people that have been working as long as they have and for me to only be 10 years old. During The Missing, Tommy Lee Jones and I really bonded like a grandfather and a granddaughter would, because we were there for about three-and-a-half to four months. He's not the easiest guy to approach at first, but if you get to know him for that long, he does become a really great guy and was always messing with me and cracking jokes and always making sure I was OK and protected on the horse.

BSW: Cayden, what about working with someone like Clint Eastwood?

Cayden: He was real funny. One time he sat down by me at lunch, and I said, "You really are dirty, aren't you, Harry?" And he looked at me and went [in a perfect Eastwood voice], "The dirtiest." He had a scary face on. It was so cool.

BSW: Are you planning to continue acting?

Jenna: Totally. I want to keep pursuing it for the rest of my life. I may change my mind someday, but for now I'm doing it for the rest of my life. And the same with ice-skating. I love doing both, and they're both a big part of my life. And I can't imagine having to quit one of them. We've made several sacrifices for both. I have to miss a competition sometimes for filming, and maybe sometimes I miss an audition to go to a competition.

BSW: What about you, Cayden? Are you going to keep acting or pursue that football career?

Cayden: I'm going to do both.

BSW: You two were born in Texas, right? When did you decide to come to L.A.?

Jenna: We lived there for about six years and are thinking about moving back. Because after The Missing and Mystic River, people can maybe say, "OK, we want Jenna or Cayden to do this movie," without auditioning. And that's great because then we can just go to Texas and commute back and forth.

BSW: What's been your favorite on-set movie experience?

Cayden: Freaky Friday was really fun. They had a ping-pong table on set because Jamie Lee Curtis is really good at ping-pong. She's awesome at it. And they had a tournament, and we would play during filming. Whoever won the tournament would get to keep the table. I think it was Jamie who kept it.

Jenna: Definitely The Missing. Even though the role was as challenging as it was, it was still really fun to work on. I went through cowboy school to do that. Cowboy school is riding horses, milking cows, feeding chickens, cleaning out stables, walking on stilts, a bunch of stuff a girl my age would be doing in the 1800s.

BSW: Do you get to see your movies?

Jenna: Yes. We see them several times.

Cayden: Well, not Mystic River. My Mom and Dad said it's a little too dark. She said I'll get to see my scenes, but not the whole movie.

Jenna: And I've not seen all of The Hunted. That was really violent.

BSW: Is it weird watching yourself on-screen?

Jenna: Not for me. I really love seeing myself on-screen. In The Missing I was sitting there going, "Oh, my God. Oh, my God. What's going to happen next?" Then I was, like, "Wait! I filmed this movie, I know what's going to happen next." It's really cool to watch myself, and it's funny to take my friends, because they're sitting there going [does a double take], "How can you be there and here?" I like to watch myself because I like to see the kind of performance I did, so I can learn from it.

Cayden: I went to the premiere of Freaky Friday, and that was really fun.

BSW: Jenna, your director on The Missing was Ron Howard, who was also a child actor. Did he give you any advice?

Jenna: He didn't give me any advice, but he was such a great guy and so down to earth. He's not hard to work with at all. He was a good director because he could understand my situation because he was also a child actor and knew what [young co-star] Evan [Rachel Wood] and I both were going through. He talked to my Mom a lot and said, "If you have any questions about how my family dealt with a child actor, then you can come to me and ask me anything."

BSW: Do you two use an acting coach?

Cayden: We used to.

Jenna: Occasionally we'll see an acting coach named Andrew Magarian. He's a good acting coach. But mainly, our Mom coaches us. She does some drama-team skits for church sometimes and a little bit of acting for them. We don't really go to coaches anymore, but when we did go it was usually before auditions, and he'd take the script and go over it with us and direct us on it.

BSW: Do you ever get bored on-set?

Cayden: Yes. And we have school, and that's really boring. I'd rather be with my friends at school.

Jenna: Sometimes you're sitting there, and you're waiting and waiting and waiting. That's why we have lots of games and videos to watch. We both get really bored if we're on each other's sets, because we're not interested in watching each other. It's your sister or brother. On The Missing I was working all the time, and Cayden got bored.

Cayden: Well, I played in the snow. We brought our friend to the set, and, that night, there was a blizzard. It snowed so hard. The weather was completely insane. We had rain, snow, sleet, hail, and sun all in one day. And 99 percent of the movie was shot outdoors.

BSW: So, do you two want to make a movie together?

Jenna: We were going to.

Cayden: This one movie, I was a boy that liked her. I was like, "No!" And eventually, I had to kiss her.

Jenna: We didn't end up doing that movie; we were just looking at the script. I'm sure they wouldn't have made us do that. But we were going to play in a movie together called Exposed that Cayden's in. He plays a little boy who speaks Spanish, and I was supposed to play his mother in a flashback. So I really got to tease him about that.

Cayden: She was, like, "Now, Cayden, I'm your mother," all the time.

BSW: Do you ever talk to each other about acting?

Jenna: Not really. It's not something we like to talk about. We talk about kids' stuff, and our parents really strongly believe that we should not talk about acting. And if my Mom hears me talking about acting to my friends, she'll say, "Why don't you just talk about kids' stuff that girls talk about?" I don't sit on the playground and talk about show business to my friends. My parents really want us to just be balanced and get outside and play and stuff.

BSW: You've both worked with some big names. Is there anyone you really want to work with?

Cayden: Probably Tom Cruise or Chuck Norris—because he plays Walker, Texas Ranger. I'd really like to do a movie again with Tim Robbins and Clint Eastwood. They were really good guys.

Jenna: Definitely Mary-Kate and Ashley [Olsen]. I've looked up to them every since I was really little—I'm still kind of little. I think they're really pretty, and it would be fun to work with them. But they've never done any dramatic stuff, so Cate Blanchett is more of the person I want to be. What I'm shooting for is an Olympic Gold Medal and an Oscar.

BSW: Do you have any advice for kids thinking about getting into acting?


Jenna : Just try your best. And that's all my parents have really encouraged me to do. If you don't get a part that you really, really wanted, don't be too upset about it, because it may not be because of you or your acting or something. It may be because of your hair color or your eye color or you don't look exactly like the parents they've already cast. So don't be too defeated; just try your best.

Cayden: I'd say it's very hard. At first I was, like, How hard can it be? Until I had to the emotional stuff. Then I said, OK, this is hard.

BSW: Would you rather be doing a comedy or a drama?

Cayden: I like both. I like comedy a lot, and dramatics show how I can really act. Because a lot of people can do comedy—I'm not saying it's easy, but dramatics are very hard. I just finished an episode of a new show called Century City. It's like Law & Order set in the future, and I have a very dramatic role in that. I have to sob and weep and wail. It was very hard. When it was done I was like, "OK, time to watch SpongeBob!" BSW