Why He's On Our Radar: British actor Jamie Blackley, who stars alongside Kate Bosworth in the black-and-white Tribeca Film Festival World Narrative Competition contender "While We Were Here," told Indiewire over the phone from London, that his upcoming trip to New York will mark his first visit to the Big Apple. We have a feeling his stop here, in support of his charming turn in the Italy-set romance, won't be his last.
The rising 20-year old talent, best known for his supporting turn in "London Boulevard" opposite Keira Knightley and Colin Farrell, is on his way to becoming a household name after bagging the lead role in Warner Bros.'s prequel to "300," ""300: Battle of Artemesia." Blackley will play Calisto, a 16-year old leader of a small band of soldiers.
Prior to that opening (the film has yet to start shooting), Blackley will appear in this summer's blockbuster "Snow White and the Huntsman," and lead the Bryan Singer-produced thriller "uwantme2killhim?."
"Snow White" to "300," you're on quite the roll.
For the role in "Snow White," I just heard about it and the casting director's always been nice to me. She hadn't cast me in anything before, but she really wanted to help me out.
The role in "Snow White" is a pretty nothing role, but it was my first experience of being on a set like that, which will help me out in the future. She was casting "300" too. I had to screen test for Warner Bros. and then I met the director.
To be honest with you, it still doesn't make sense now. I'm just going to keep on and keep myself myself. I just want to make a good impression, really.
You appear relatively fit in "While We Were Here," but you're not sporting the Spartan frame you'll no doubt have to have for your role in "300." Have you begun training?
The guy I'm playing, Calisto, he's 16. So I don't have to be as big as the other dudes that are going to be in it. I know that for a fact. But I guess I'm going to have to be big enough in order to fight. I mean I just started little bits of training with a friend of mine who's really cool. He helps me out in terms of getting my body used to the idea of expanding and growing, so that when I start the training (which could start any day now and which scares the life out of me), it won't be too much of a shock to the system. But I'm excited about it. I've always been a skinny man. I've always wanted to be bigger, so it came about at the right time to make me feel better about myself, really.
You come off as a pretty humble guy, but your character in "While We Were Here" has this cocky swagger about him. Did you have to stretch to pull of playing a player?
Yeah, I did. Kat Coiro [the writer/director], who's one of the nicest people I've ever met in my life, she really helped with that. She just wanted me to keep the energy up. Kate was playing this fragile woman, so I had to provide this jump up in energy. I'm so kind of lazy, really. I'm not like that.
How long were you in Italy making this film?
I think 12 days.
Did it feel like a holiday? It looks it.
You know what mate, I haven't travelled a lot, and it's the most beautiful place I've ever seen in my life. All of the crew — there were only six or seven of us — we had the best time. We really just hit it off. It was just so awesome.
Kate Bosworth shot to fame at a relatively early age with "Blue Crush." Did you go to her for any advice on how to navigate what you'll no doubt be soon experiencing?
It was really daunting to know that I'd be working with someone like her, someone so experienced. She really just did make me feel comfortable. She was just really nice about it, and taught me little things (little acting tricks) that are probably more valuable than ways to navigate what I'm going on. I was so scared, but she put me at ease on the first day.
So this marks your first trip to New York. What are you hoping to get out of the whole Tribeca experience?
My first one is I hope people like the film. My second thing is… I have one day to get out and walk about and see if I can find any cool things. I've always wanted to go New York. It's been so quick this process, and it's my first film festival. I'll remember it forever.