emily   –   February 05, 2021

SYFY WIRE – In the upcoming film Little Fish, based on a short story by novelist Aja Gabel, there is a worldwide pandemic — not of COVID-19, but of NIA, or Neuroinflammatory Affliction. The chief symptom of this affliction is the obliteration of memory: sometimes as a slow fade, sometimes all at once, like rapid-onset Alzheimer’s. NIA is possibly caused by the absence of an enzyme necessary for memory retention, but who knows — scientists researching the matter may have forgotten. Is it airborne or spread via surfaces? Hard to say. All airplane flights are grounded, but why? To prevent transmission, or to prevent crashes when pilots forget mid-air how to fly? (This happens with vehicles down on the ground, too.)

Trying to navigate this dire new world is a young couple, Emma Ryerson (Olivia Cooke) and Jude Williams (Jack O’Connell), who have to come to terms with what the erasure of their shared memories means.

“We made this film nine months before COVID-19,” Cooke tells SYFY WIRE about the film. “But what I think sets it apart from the pandemic that we’re now in is that the pandemic has different symptoms, and it’s more of a backdrop. Our movie is really about these two characters and their relationship.”

In the interview below, Cooke and O’Connell chat with SYFY WIRE about their input on the script, lucky fires, and their shared Game of Thrones connection.

How weird has it been to see things from your film reflected in real life, when that wasn’t the intention at all?

Olivia Cooke: It feels really weird. Nostradamus-like. Eerie.

Jack O’Connell: Crystal ball-type s***.

There are riot scenes in the film where people try to get access to the cure. You’d think that would be the case in real life, but instead we’ve had riots and protests where people try to prevent that access, pharmacists who have destroyed the vaccine…

Cooke: It’s just lunacy, isn’t it? It’s selfish, at the very least, and completely dangerous at the most. It just angers me, because without vaccines, without science, we’d still have massive cases of tuberculosis, measles, mumps, and polio. I think people are just so privileged and lucky to live in a world where they have not had to deal with those things. And we have got something where science is trying to prevail, to bloody save us all, and there is a huge chunk of humanity trying to intercept that. [Sighs.] The mind boggles.

The week before shooting, you two got to have some input on the script. What changes did you suggest?

Cooke: Some of the … changes we made were … relationship-based, to what felt more natural and realistic for us as actors. We probably got rid of some cheesy moments that, as Brits, we didn’t feel we could do with the sincerity that the writer was asking of us. We maybe took the piss a bit more, in lieu of other modes of affection. But that might be me making it up because I can’t remember!

O’Connell: It was good that we had the time to focus on that. And there were other areas where we got to raise the stakes a little bit as well. In the script, Jude had a past drinking issue, and I just thought, “He’s a musician. He’s been on the road. Why don’t we try and delve a little further into that, and actually make it a thing?” Because I didn’t want the film to just gloss over what is quite a pertinent issue. And so this becomes the reason that Jude can’t proceed with an experimental cure.
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emily   –   November 25, 2020

The official trailer for Little Fish has been released! Check it out below:

Opening in theaters and on demand February 5

As a memory loss virus runs rampant, one couple fights to hold their relationship together before the disease can erase all memory of their love in this sweeping sci-fi romance.

Film Productions > Little Fish (2021) > Official Trailer Screen Captures
emily   –   November 22, 2020

Jack spoke with Men’s Journal about his new movie, Jungleland, boxing, working out, and more. Read it below!

MEN’S JOUNRAL – Jack O’Connell has been boxing since his early teens, and he largely credits the sport for molding him into the man he is today. So it’s no surprise he was enthusiastic about the opportunity to play a bareknuckle brawler in the indie drama Jungleland. The story centers on two roughneck brothers who road trip cross-country for an underground no-holds-barred competition. When it came time to prepare for the film’s shoot in Boston, O’Connell decided his best way to get into character would be to treat his pre-production time like a training camp.

“I trained like I was preparing for a real boxing fight,” O’Connell tells Men’s Journal. The work started at his home gym, Westside Boxing in West London, then moved to Brighton’s Boston Boxing and Fitness. “I was working out next to Golden Gloves competitors, and really connected with some of these guys, we even brought some of them into the movie.”

The results of O’Connell’s work can be seen onscreen, showcasing his lean physique in the film’s pivotal fight scenes. We spoke with the Derby-born actor about getting in the ring for Jungleland, training with his co-star Charlie Hunnam, and his favorite fighters.

Men’s Journal: What excited you about the Jungleland script?

Jack O’Connell: Jungleland was an opportunity to bring stories and lessons from the gym—from boxing. The script centers around bareknuckle fighting, which is its own whole universe. There’s a scene out here where I’m from, too, so it was interesting for me to try to present a story about two brothers within this subculture. The story itself stands on its own legs, but the fact it was in the world of bareknuckle boxing is what really drew me to it.

How long have you been boxing?

I started kickboxing when I was 11 years old, which I feel like is a good age to start. It may be a little late if you want to compete, but you’re still flexible and moldable. The movements can come a little easier when you have that youth on your side. From there, I started focusing more on boxing and striking quickly. I really believe in the science of boxing. I don’t find it to be a brutal sport. There are brutal consequences, sure, but at its core it’s the purest of contests between two individuals. It all starts in that gym, and that’s where a lot of those fights are won. That fascinates me. What I learn from boxing is much more than just what I learn in the ring.

What other elements of boxing do you find constructive?

There’s so much more that comes with studying boxing besides learning how to throw a punch. So much more. Getting punched in the face can be a great lesson. I just think it’s a very humbling experience, and it comes as the result of learning your limits, like you do in the ring. You can feel the consequence of not putting yourself into something 100 percent.

What do you look for in a boxing gym experience?

I’m drawn to the attitude of people that I hang out with in the boxing gym. The places I go are the opposite of aggressive and the opposite of macho. I don’t want to hang out in a gym that’s too macho. A good share of my role models, and people I look up to, are people I’ve met in the boxing gym.

What gym do you work out at now?

I usually train at Westside Boxing in West London. They have some great talent coming through there. They’re pretty well known in the amateur boxing scene. There’s a guy called John Holland, who’s old school and traditional. I’ve learned so much from him. He’s a paternal figure in my life, no question. I am usually there three or four times a week, and I try to spare twice a week.

What do you like about boxing as a workout?

I can’t really get down with traditional workouts, like a lot of weightlifting. I have to be punching something or kicking a football. Otherwise, it can just feel a little pointless. Perhaps that’s more of a mindset thing on my end, but I just don’t see the point of it. I find the combination of boxing and playing football, or soccer as you call it, is a great combination for me. It keeps my mind fit. It keeps my body fit. I fucking hate cardio, so I need to have it disguised. The physique I ended up with by the time we started filming was the one I had after focusing purely on my boxing. After a proper training period. I wasn’t going in there trying to look particularly pumped or busting out of my shirt. I was going into this movie wanting to look like a fighter.
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emily   –   October 21, 2020

Premiering at Home November 10

Stan (Charlie Hunnam) and Lion (Jack O’Connell) are two brothers struggling to stay relevant in the underground world of bare-knuckle boxing. When Stan fails to pay back a dangerous crime boss (Jonathon Majors), they’re forced to deliver an unexpected traveler as they journey across the country for a high-stakes fighting tournament. While Stan trains Lion for the fight of his life, a series of events threaten to tear the brothers apart but their love for one another and belief in a better life keep them going in this gripping drama that proves family pulls no punches.

emily   –   September 06, 2019

VARIETY – Jack O’Connell is in advanced negotiations to play Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder in AGC Studios’ “Twisting My Melon.” The project, which AGC will fully finance and co-produce, was announced at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

In addition to O’Connell, Jason Isaacs is in talks to play Derek Ryder, Shaun’s father. Holliday Grainger (“Cinderella”) will likely play Shaun’s girlfriend and Maxine Peake (“The Theory of Everything”) will portray his much-put-upon mother. The Happy Mondays were giants of the independent music scene in the U.K., combining elements of funk and psychedelia with hits such as “Hallelujah” and “Mad Cyril.”

The project was originated and developed by Matt Greenhalgh and his production company Maine Road Films. He co-wrote the screenplay with Andrew Knott and William Ash and will direct and produce the film. Greenhalgh has dramatized the rock world before, writing screenplays for the John Lennon drama “Nowhere Boy” and the Ian Curtis biopic “Control.” This marks his feature-film directing debut.

Twisting My Melon” will look at how Ryder’s relationship with his father, a working-class guitar hero dubbed the “Horseman,” was tested when he achieved his own musical success.

Shaun Ryder is the son of John Lennon, Johnny Rotten with a few kilos of John Belushi stamped in,” Greenhalgh said in a statement. “He’s risen from the dead more times than anyone can remember, and his poetry will last forever. Shaun, and the last true working-class band – the Happy Mondays – mainlined into my musical DNA when I was 16 years old. Like millions of others I readily boarded their ecstatic revolution. And thanks to AGC, I feel honoured to be able to author the only rock’n’roll movie I want to see”.

Also attached to produce are Mark Lane (“47 Metres Down”) of UK production outfit Tea Shop & Film Company, and Kevin Sampson. AGC’s chairman and CEO Stuart Ford and AGC’s Callum Grant will executive produce together with Jeremy Gawade.

O’Connell is best known for anchoring “Unbroken” and “’71.” Isaacs has appeared in the Harry Potter franchise and recently co-starred in “Hotel Mumbai.”

AGC Studios’ slate includes the Tate Taylor comedy “Breaking News in Yuba County” with Allison Janney and Mila Kunis; the documentary “Ladyboss: The Jackie Collins Story”; and the World War II action drama “Midway.”

emily   –   September 04, 2019

On Saturday (August 31), Jack attended a press conference for Seberg at 76th Venice Film Festival. Enjoy the few photos from the conference in the gallery!

emily   –   September 04, 2019

After the photocall, Jack attended the premiere of Seberg 76th Venice Film Festival. He looked so handsome <3 Check out the photos in the gallery!

emily   –   September 04, 2019

On August 30, Jack attended a photocall for his upcoming film Seberg at this year’s 76th Venice Film Festival. It was great to see Jack out! I have added a bunch of photos from the photocall to the gallery, enjoy!

emily   –   April 30, 2018

THR – Hope Dickson Leach is directing the family drama, with Protagonist Pictures to shop the pic in Cannes.

Jack O’Connell and Lily Collins are joining The Cradle from The Levelling director Hope Dickson Leach.

O’Connell and Collins will play a couple not ready to expect their first baby as they track down a childhood cradle, only to make a discovery that will change their family forever. Protagonist Pictures will launch the project to international buyers in Cannes.

UTA and CAA are handling North American rights. The Cradle is adapted from the 2009 novel by writer Patrick Somerville, who co-wrote the screenplay with Dickson Leach.

The producer credits are shared by Gail Mutrux and Tore Schmidt for Pretty Pictures. Production on The Cradle is set for summer 2018.

Dickson Leach is repped by UTA and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates. O’Connell is repped by CAA, Conway van Gelder Grant and Sloane Offer Weber & Dern. Collins is repped by CAA, LBI, Definition Entertainment and Sloane Offer Weber & Dern.

emily   –   January 12, 2018

Yesterday (January 11), Jack attended the 23rd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards. It was so nice to see Jack out! Unfortunately, Jack and Godless didn’t win – but still was great to be nominated!

The gallery has been updated with 30 HQ photos. Enjoy!

Public Appearances > 2018 > Jan 11 | 23rd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards