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Jack O'Connell – Winners’ Press Conference interview, EE Rising Star, EE British Academy Film Awards in 2015

8 February 2015

Winners’ Press Conference interview with Jack O'Connell for EE Rising Star

Winners' press conference interview with Jack O'Connell in the EE Rising Star category

Q.  Congratulations.  How does it feel?

A. I am elated actually, mate.  Eddie Redmayne just got Best Actor.  I don't know if you already know.  Bless him.  It is just a great night for it and I feel quite honoured to be in and amongst this batch, this wave, this generation. 
I feel Eddie's support quite often.  We have got Sam Claflin here tonight as well.  Very supportive.  Will Poulter, my predecessor?  Successor?  One of the two.

Q.  Successor?

A.  And yes.  So it is very tight knit and I feel very fortunate to be part of this quest.

Q.  And Eddie was nominated for this a few years ago.  Look at him now.

A.  I think, when he was nominated, he was saying how I think Stephen Fry was presenting that award.  He told a funny story how he had food poisoning and he had to run out of the auditorium just before his award got announced one way or the other.  Apparently he redecorated...

Q.  You were fine?

A.  I was fine, mate.  Yes.  I have had my mum's cooking down me, so I'm ... new lease of life.

NEW SPEAKER:  How good at you are staying cool, calm and collected now you've won a BAFTA, or will you be going out and getting totally blattered later?

A.  I have got my mum and sister down with me strategically, so I am quite leashed tonight.  Whether that has a knock on, I don't know.  But, no, I will be very loud spoken about it.  Very outspoken, anyway.  I just don't know where to put it.  Where would I ... another thing my mum will look forward to keeping and dusting, anyway.

NEW SPEAKER:  Hi Jack, congratulations.

A.  All right, mate.

NEW SPEAKER:  Are you expecting to hear from Anthony (inaudible)?  It is an amazing (inaudible) congratulating.

A.  Oh, I don't know.  I don't know about that.  I don't like to hound the woman, you know?  But I certainly won't be ignoring her calls, anyway.

NEW SPEAKER:  Jack, congratulations again.  You have had a phenomenal year.  You have done some brilliant films, of a very different kind.  What do you take away from each of them?  We have watched you grow as an actor (inaudible).

A. Yes.  I think more recently anyway, in recent terms, I am very eager to establish some diversity.  I mean, in my opinion, when I especially when I was training, a lot of my focuses or interests were within roles that perhaps weren't necessarily relevant to myself.  And I'd always argue that I'm doing my best, you know, and I do get what I'm given and so I have to work within that parameter.  But certainly from here on anyway, I will be doing whatever I can to perhaps depart from what I have already been seen doing.  Otherwise I am going to make it very easy to become typecast in myself, and we don't need that. 

I have only just started my career, more or less, so it would be a shame if I was just suckered into that.

NEW SPEAKER:  Congratulations. (inaudible) what did you take from your work ethic, that you (inaudible)?

A.  I think essentially, the fact that she did all of that.  I mean, perhaps worked harder than myself on Unbroken and was still a mother to six young children, a mother of six.  So whereas I finished a day's work and I just nose dive into bed and feel sorry for myself until the next time to get out of bed, she is mothering six children.  So that that, I guess, gave me an insight as to how far my tolerance levels need to, I guess, grow or withstand.  Because yes, she certainly leads by example.  And she's a doer.  You know, I like people that do it, instead of all this. You just get it done, and see, I take that on board.

NEW SPEAKER:  What would you like to give back to up and coming actors rising tonight, what would you like to give back?

A. Yes, I think the onus is on myself there and I don't believe in any such thing as a selfless act.  I would be doing that to fulfil myself too, in the sense that I would probably feel a little bit guilty if that didn't become my focus. And as I was saying when I accepted the award, I remember being a youngster.  I was part of the drama workshop that was free for ourselves. Underfunded and can never guarantee that they're going to be open any more than a year, but they still exist. They did win a BAFTA years and years ago. I remember holding that very BAFTA, feeling aspirational about getting my own one day. If I can offer that one day down the line, then certainly I will jump at the opportunity.

NEW SPEAKER:  Hi Jack, congratulations. I know you are a good East Midlands boy.

A.  That's right.

NEW SPEAKER: What is it going to lead you to (inaudible)?

A.  No, very slim.  Very, very slim.  I've only just set up in London.  I've only just left the east Midlands, so it is some time yet.  I can never be too far from Pride Park.  What if Derby win the league?

Q.  Yes, please.

A.  (Laughs)  We have got a Bournemouth fan.

NEW SPEAKER: You have put your home town on the map.  What would you say to the people in your home town?

A. Well, I definitely felt their support throughout this whole campaign.  They even   they even devised a specific hash tag, "back jack", #backjack.  So think of that what you will. 

But yes, I felt their support.  There was some version of unity in there as well.  That is hugely flattering, because that's where I cut my teeth and once upon a time that felt enormous, that city, huge.  And now, not so.  But yes, very humbling, very humbling.  It means a lot.

NEW SPEAKER:  You mentioned on the red carpet about people from public schools doing well. Do you feel that you are representing something else? Does that feel like an important thing to represent?

A. Yes, certainly.  It's they are my roots, you know? That is my derivatory.  So I am certainly not ashamed, and I would be lying if, perhaps, you know, it doesn't affect you, one way or another, particularly in this field. But it is our job to at least convince if not an audience, then initially a casting director and then a director that we're capable of departing ourselves from ourselves. 

One day, I perhaps might socially elevate myself for a role. That would be the idea one day.  But we're in we're in an artistic medium, I feel, and this is a rigid way of thinking, and I'm I would never suggest that these things are foreseen or predetermined. Like Eddie put himself where he is, so did Benedict.  And with that said, so did I. And I guess, yes, we do represent different social classes, but I don't think that should be important in this field. 
I hope that answers your question.

NEW SPEAKER:  On a much lighter note, are you going to get George Clooney down to Derby County?

A.  There has been a lot made of this. I don't remember ever saying that.  But no, he doesn't have to. He wouldn't be missing out on much if he didn't.
NEW SPEAKER: I know you have talked to him.

A.  Yes.  I don't know.  Can he play football?  He would be useless then, wouldn't he?

Q.  I think he could do everything. 

NEW SPEAKER:  Yes. You said you wouldn't like to be typecast.  I wondered what sort of roles you are looking for next.

A.  Okay.  So I might have done myself a bit of an injustice in the next role, because he is an angry youngster again.  But by saying that, it is New York and he is New York and it is modern day and it's opposite George Clooney, so I wasn't going to pass up that opportunity. And I at the risk of seeming like a one trick pony.  And then there is a film with Terry Gilliam that I am really hopeful to make, Lost in de la Mancha.  It was a documentary which is about the film that we are hoping to make called Don Quixote. The man who killed Don Quixote. And I am hoping to make that with Terry. I am playing a director there, a well spoken director. So thankfully that is way off into the distance.  Plenty of time to prepare.

NEW SPEAKER: It is a public vote, you have won the public vote.  What is your message for those who voted for you and can you tell me your public persona? Do you like being recognised on the street?

A. I guess there's always convenient times and not so convenience times for that sort of recognition. If I am just trying for a nice catch up with my mother, for instance, you are going to be annoyed with anyone's interruption there. But that is just one example. 

My message, look, I can only try and articulate how thankful I am that this this did consult the public, you know so it could have gone either way.  And I feel very humbled that that's the case. I am not in BAFTA now, though, am I? I am not a BAFTA member? Am I? Sweet.

NEW SPEAKER: Obviously this week (inaudible) Fifty Shades of Grey.  Will you be watching it and would you consider yourself for a raunchy role in the future?

A. Yes, I certainly won't turn them down.  Like I said, I am diverse.  I am up for raunchy, certainly within my repertoire, I would like to imagine.  But yes, I don't know.  I don't know if I am going to be watching Fifty Shades of Grey.  Maybe.  Maybe.

Q. We'll see. On that bombshell.  Thank you very much indeed. Congratulations, Jack O'Connell.  Thank you.