emily   –   February 06, 2015

Having made a name for himself on Channel 4’s epic teen drama Skins it was only a matter of time before the film world took notice of Jack O’Connell’. One of his earlier film roles was as the king of the killer chavs in EDEN LAKE. A film which had O’Connell and his friends stalk middle-class Michael Fassbender and his wife as they went on a relaxing camping trip. Since then O’Connell has graced our screens in a variety of genres with last year (2014 in case you’ve forgotten already) featuring many chances to see Jack on the big screen as he starred in 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE, STARRED UP, ’71 and UNBROKEN.

We recently interviewed Jack O’Connell about his EE Rising Star BAFTA nomination and the young actor seemed to be taking it all in his stride, apparently happy to speak to a fellow Midlander. We kicked the interview off discussing the local area, where you can get an under-age pint (very naughty), and the heated rivalry between our home-town football teams (Derby County and Nottingham Forrest). Here’s what he had to say:

Congratulations on your nomination.

Thank you!

How are you feeling?

I’m upbeat. I’m very upbeat. But apparently these things can’t define you. One way or another I hope to keep on working. Should that [winning] be the case lovely, if I’ve got the Rising Star award in my repertoire. But if not I can’t be crying myself to sleep about it can I?

Does this one mean a little bit more because it’s voted for by the general public?

It’s the fans, it’s home soil. I guess the previous honouries the Will Poulter’s, the Tom Hardy’s the James McAvoy’s of this world, Noel Clarke, you know homegrown talent. I’d personally like it to go to someone homely. But I guess that benefits me to say.

Everybody, even nominees, winners obviously, but even nominees have all gone on to have really successful careers; Cillian Murphy he was a nominee but didn’t win but has had a great career.

He’s one of my favourites is Cillian. Since WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY. Is that what he got nominated for? Brilliant film.

It was the year that THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY was released yes. You’ve mentioned in the past that Tom Hardy is someone that you aspire to. He’s a previous winner, are you hoping to emulate him?



No I love his work. You know I like him as a person, but I’ve gotta do my own thing haven’t I? Tom has his strengths, I perhaps have mine in other fields. No I don’t like modeling it on any others.

You’re the second Skins alumni to be nominated, Nicholas Hoult was nominated previously.

Got ya?!

So who out of the rest of the Skins cast do you think could be in your shoes in a few years time?

I think Sean Teale is a good little actor. He was in the generation after ours. I think he’s a good little actor. I think in my opinion who impressed me the most was Ollie Barbieri. Because he’s not JJ, he’s not socially awkward, well perhaps slightly, but what to be able to comprehend that Asperger’s essentially. To play it convincingly you only saw JJ on camera. He constructed a f**king very recoginisable, instantly recognisable character. Lily Loveless I think is a stunning actress too. And that’s just to name three names.

You could name pretty much anybody from Skins though, it was such a good show.

They chose us wisely.

Last year was pretty busy for you, you were in a lot of films, what’s next?

A film comes out this year called TULIP FEVER, which is seventeenth century Amsterdam during the tulip bulb boom. I’m looking forwards to seeing what that does, primarily because I love history. It was a lot of fun delving into that. Then you have after that, yeah next jobs in February. I’m in a thing called MONEY MONSTER with Jodie Foster directing me. But hopefully in the time in between a short film which I did immediately after TULIP FEVER with Holliday Grainger, who we were love interests with before anyway. We then went onto this short film together it’s CGI’d up. This geezer called Kibwe Tavares and a producer called Dan Emmerson they are really exciting me man. F**king brilliant little film makers. It’s great to after all the experiences of last year be back in at grass roots level carrying the set around and mucking in that way.

So no break then?

I think that’s what Christmas was want it? So I better get stuck in. I’m getting agitated actually.

If you think that Jack should win the prestigious award and follow in the footsteps of James McAvoy, Tom Hardy and Eva Green then make sure you cast your vote here.


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