Not many seven-year-olds think about their careers. Many children that age still believe being a "Knight of the Round Table" is still a viable option for their future. This is what sets Maryanne Emma Gilbert apart from so many her age. Not only does she know what she wants to do when she is grown-up, but she is already doing it.
The Calgary-born actress already has an impressive resume, and achieved what many much older actors strive for. At just seven-years-old, she has appeared in a nationwide McDonalds commercial that appeared during the 2016 Summer Olympics, she starred in the feature film Space Rippers, and was the lead in a Doritos commercial for the “Crash the Superbowl” competition. She has been nominated for not one, but two Joey Awards; one for Best Actress in a Commercial and the other for Best Actress in a Short Film. She also appeared in the feature film Jewel Fools, which had its premiere at the Calgary International Film Festival in 2014.
“The filmmakers are really nice,” said Gilbert when talking about her experience working on Jewel Fools. “Also I got to eat tons of cupcakes. At least two.”
Jewel Fools is a musical-action-comedy-crime film that follows Denis. Denis, a pot-smoking slacker, wants to propose to his girlfriend of four years in order to show her he's serious about their relationship, but things go wrong when the priceless engagement ring his grandmother gives to him is stolen.
“Maryanne was a pleasure to work with. Having worked with her mom, Janie Fontaine, previously as well, we knew what to expect from a very passionate and diligent family, so we all had a lot of fun shooting her scene that day,” said the writer and executive producer of the film, Bhavesh Chauhan. “Maryanne was able to follow direction very well and because of that we were able to get the shots done extremely quickly in only a few takes.”
Gilbert worked closely with Chauhan, as well as the directors Jashan Makan and Biswajit Patel, who are brothers.
“I learned to listen to the directors. They were really, really nice so they made it easy to listen to them. They are also really funny. They are young so they are fun. They are relaxed and not stressed and didn’t yell. They talk nicely and smooth,” Gilbert described.
Gilbert played the character of Emma, who goes to one of the main character’s bakery at the end of the film. The scene is pivotal to display how the characters transformed from the crime-filled life they were living throughout the majority of the film, and Gilbert’s innocent and positive portrayal of Emma shows the drastic change the characters went through to get to where they are at the end of their story.
“The character was the same as me because I had to eat lots of cupcakes and I love cupcakes,” said Gilbert. “But she was different from me because she not shy, she had to order lots of things to the cashier. I am shy with new people. I am not shy in front of a camera, but I am shy when I have to talk to strangers.”
Having a film screened at a film fesitval was a new experience for the young actress at the time, but with her innate talent and natural acting abilities, it is something she can get used to.
“I am impressed that all these people saw us on screen. I want to do more movies that people can see. I feel proud of the filmmakers,” said Gilbert.
Although the film was a musical, the character of Emma was not required to sing and dance. Gilbert, however, would love to do another musical in the future to show off her talents.
“I love to sing and I take dance lessons,” she said.
Gilbert was only four-years-old when she shot Jewel Fools, and she was already recognized for being mature and professional. There is no doubt her face will be on television screens for many years to come.