'Starred Up': 2014 Is The Year of Jack O'Connell
Jack O'Connell is one of the most promising actors in Hollywood.
Movie audiences are only just beginning to discover Jack O'Connell, who is hitting the big time this year in four high-profile films. But the 23-year-old British actor is hardly a newcomer, and has been working regularly over the past decade in well-regarded projects including Shane Meadows' This Is England (2005), the Michael Fassbender thriller Eden Lake (2008) and the Michael Caine drama Harry Brown (2009). He also had a major role on the TV series Skins.
In 300: Rise of an Empire, which has already stormed the box office, O'Connell goes to battle wearing only a tiny leather skirt. But this week he also gets to flex his acting muscles in Starred Up, the prison drama that was highly acclaimed on last year's festival circuit, earning O'Connell a Best Actor nomination at last year's British Independent Film Awards.
In the film, O'Connell gives a fierce performance that stands up to equally impressive work from costars Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend.
Next up for the young actor is the lead role in the Berlin Film Festival prize-winning drama '71, about a British soldier stranded in Belfast during a violent riot. And later this year he has the starring role in Angelina Jolie's next directing project Unbroken, in which he plays Olympic gold-medal winning runner Louis Zamperini, who was captured and tortured by the Japanese during WWII. So by the end of 2014, it's a fairly sure bet that everyone will know his name.