Jack O’Connell has long had it figured out, put forth a plan and it is seeing it bear fruit. Already earning strong notices for his turn in “Starred Up” (review here) and impressing us further with his performance in the Berlin Film Festival war drama “71” (review here), when we caught up with him at the Berlinale, the actor revealed that the seemingly sudden attention thrust upon him is the result of a very singular and focused course of action.
“Since I started acting I’ve always been aware of the sort of ‘beastly entity’ that is America and Hollywood, and semi-consciously I devised a kind of route in—I’d seen a lot of people try and fail,” he told us. “And so I realized that if I work hard enough at what I do [in the U.K.], then eventually they’ll have to listen. It’s a very sought-after part of the industry, and for the right reasons and I’d like to involve myself. But I think a lot of people make the mistake of devoting themselves wholly to that, to trying to sell themselves over there. That was never my intention. So thankfully I’ve been able to keep my priorities straight and do work for the right reasons.”
So basically, his plan was to do good work let the rest follow, and that’s just what’s happening. It would seem that buzz is building very early about his turn in Angelina Jolie‘s upcoming WWII survival tale “Unbroken,” and Universal wants to hang on to the potential next big thing, casting him in “Section 6.” The project is one the studio is hot on, paying $1.2 million for the Aaron Berg script about Sir George Mansfield Cummings and the formation of spy agency MI6 following WWI. Universal is already thinking franchise on this one, in what we guess will be some kind of old-timey James Bond thing.