Can you describe what it was like playing two characters in the play Held, and how you dealt with that?
It is a huge and daunting challenge, but one that excites me a lot. I don’t think many people get the chance to explore two characters at once, each with their individual issues and struggles. Playing these characters in one play is very intense, but I feel so grateful for the chance to take on the responsibility of bringing them to life. I just hope I don’t mess it up! I am excited for people to see it. I think they’re going to remember it and be moved by it one way or another.
You have taken to the stage in some iconic locations, such as London’s South Bank Rose Theatre – do you have any dream locations to perform?
Performing at the Rose Theatre was a great pleasure and even more so since it is the oldest theatre in London, but I’ve always wanted to perform at the Donmar Theatre if I’m honest. It’s intimate and I really like that about theatre…the live energy, up close and personal. I think it’s powerful. More recently I saw Travesties with Tom Hollander at the Apollo Theatre and it gave me an urge to want to perform on that stage one day too.
Having played the lead role in Is This Rape? Sex on Trial – what part do programmes like this play in current times?
I’m so glad I was part of that programme, I think it has a great message. More importantly it was very educating on a topic that people can’t afford to be ignorant about. I think it really makes clear for boys and girls how easily lines can be blurred and how even more easily you can find yourself on the wrong side of the line/law. These programmes are beyond important in current times, everything is so immediate nowadays and we can all get carried away sometimes and shows like this reflect situations that almost anyone can relate too or imagine. These programmes really show how easily it can go wrong when we don’t think before we act. As cliche as that sounds, but it is what it is.
Runaway featured in Austen Texas Film Festival, how does it feel to know your work is being shown around the world?
I’m proud of Runaway and was very excited that I got to work with Director Tom Ruddock again who I had previously done Hello, Again with, alongside Naomi Scott. That was also received well internationally at Film Festivals. I remember the days when I was only dreaming and hoping to be an actor and now to see the work I’ve done, which has transitioned across territories all over the world, it is very overwhelming. It’s hard not to get carried away!
With such a varied back catalogue in both Theatre and Film, what would you like to achieve next? Do you have a specific avenue you want to pursue?
You know, to get the chance to do both is really something and both are so different in their demands from you as an actor. I do love to be challenged and pushed out my comfort zone so I’d love to keep doing both, grow in both and become as well rounded as I can be. I did write a few things a few years back and people always responded well to it and recently it’s something I have been thinking a lot about in the quiet times away from the acting. Acting is my priority though, however, Hussain Manawer and I are working on a show together, based around the show he did at the Hackney Empire – where we achieved a Guinness World Record for the largest Mental Health Lesson. I think a strong message and a show of hope is what we all need at the moment and we hope this will do that.
How did your acting career begin? What came first, stage or screen?
Acting for me started in the theatre, at school and in local theatres near where I lived, but Film and TV is what really got me started in the industry. I’ve truly loved every experience, because they all taught me so much, in the theatre and on set. I’ll never forget where it all started though, you can’t, it makes you appreciate what you are doing and where you’re going.
Jack stars in Held – a new play by Tina Jay at the Tristan Bates Theatre. 6th – 17th June
Photography by Andrea Vecchiato