Jack O'Connell (actor)

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Jack O'Connell
Jack O'Connell 2014 (cropped).jpg
O'Connell at the Unbroken world premiere in November 2014
Born (1990-08-01) 1 August 1990 (age 24)
Alvaston, Derby, England
Nationality British
Occupation Actor
Years active 2005–present

Jack O'Connell (born 1 August 1990) is an English actor. He is best known for playing Pukey Nicholls in This Is England (2006), Marky in Harry Brown (2009), James Cook in the E4 teen drama Skins, Eric in Starred Up (2014), and for starring as Louis Zamperini in the Angelina Jolie-directed war drama Unbroken (2014).[1]

Early life[edit]

O'Connell was born in Alvaston, Derby, the son of Alison J. (née Gutteridge), who worked for British Midland, and John Patrick O'Connell, who worked on the railways for Bombardier.[2][3][4] His father was Irish (from Kerry) and his mother is English.[5][6] His maternal grandfather, Ken Gutteridge, was a professional football player and manager.[7] He attended Saint Benedict Catholic School. He left school at sixteen with two GCSEs: a B in drama and C in English.[8]


O'Connell at the Harry Brown film premiere, November 2009

O'Connell made his professional acting debut in 2005 appearing in an episode of the British soap opera Doctors, along with four episodes as character Ross Trecot in The Bill. In 2006, O'Connell made his film debut in This Is England, a story about a boy growing up in 1980s England. During 2007, O'Connell made several minor television appearances in Waterloo Road, Holby City, and Wire in the Blood. He would go on to star in the play Scarborough, performed at the Edinburgh Festival, a role he reprised the following year upon its transfer to the Royal Court Theatre, London. In October of that same year, O'Connell starred in an educational DVD, Between You and Me, produced by Derbyshire Constabulary,[9] in which his character Alfie Gilchrist encounters a range of issues including underage drinking, fake ID, peer pressure, and car theft. Youth Work Now magazine described his performance as "outstanding".[10]

O'Connell appeared in the horror/thriller Eden Lake (2008) as the film villain Brett, the ITV television serial of Wuthering Heights (2009), and as James Cook in the third/fourth/seventh installments of the E4 Series Skins, which premiered in January 2009/10/13.[11] O'Connell appears in the British crime thriller Harry Brown (2009) with Michael Caine, playing the role of Marky.[12] Subsequently, O'Connell featured in the music video of End Credits by UK Drum and Bass act Chase & Status, which was the official song released from the movie's soundtrack.[13][14]

In July 2010, O'Connell starred alongside Aisling Loftus in the BBC Two two-part drama Dive as the programme's lead male character, Robert, where a young teenage couple must come to terms with an unexpected pregnancy.[15] His performance was described by The Observer reviewer Euan Ferguson as "a performance that is of an actor twice his years: mesmerising, comedic and soulful".[16] O'Connell won the best actor award at the 2010 TV Choice awards for his role as Skins character James Cook.[17]

O'Connell was initially cast as Ethan Wate in the film Beautiful Creatures, but dropped out of the film because of scheduling issues and was replaced by Alden Ehrenreich.[18]

According to Variety, O'Connell was among one of the top candidates for the role of Reed Richards in The Fantastic Four, which went to Miles Teller.[19]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 This Is England Pukey Nicholls
2006 Black Dog Chris Short film
2008 Eden Lake Brett Fright Meter Award Best Supporting Actor [20]
International Fantasy Film Award for Best Actor [21]
2009 Wayfaring Stranger Bobby Brewer Short film
2009 Harry Brown Marky
2010 The Hardest Part Thug Short film
2011 Weekender Dylan
2011 The Somnambulists Man 10
2011 Shelter Charlie Short film
2012 Private Peaceful Charlie Peaceful
2012 The Liability Adam
2012 Tower Block Kurtis
2013 Starred Up Eric Love Dublin International Film Festival Award for Best Actor [22]
Les Arcs International Film Festival Award for Best Actor [23]
Nominated - British Independent Film Award for Best Actor [24]
2014 300: Rise of an Empire Calisto
2014 Unbroken Louis Zamperini

Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Performer [25]
National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Performance (also for Starred Up) [26]
New Hollywood Award [27]
New York Film Critics Online Award for Breakthrough Performance (also for Starred Up)[28]

2014 '71 Gary Pending - British Independent Film Award for Best Actor [29]
2015 Tulip Fever William Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Doctors Connor Yates Episode: "Like Father, Like Son"
2005 The Bill Ross Trescot 4 episodes
2007 Waterloo Road Dale Baxter 1 episode
2007 Holby City Davey Hunt Episode: "Trust"
2007 Wire in the Blood Jack Norton Episode: "The Names of Angels"
2009 Wuthering Heights Shepherd Lad
2010 Dive Robert Wisley
2011 United Bobby Charlton
2011 The Runaway Eamonn Docherty 6 episodes
2009–2010, 2013 Skins James Cook 18 episodes

TV Choice Award for Best Actor[30]
TV Quick Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Monte-Carlo TV Festival Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series [31]


  1. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-30577984
  2. ^ Meadows, Shane (22 April 2007). "The Brit pack of UK cinema". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  3. ^ WITH a passion for football running through his veins, clinching the role of Bobby Charlton in BBC's United was a dream come true for Derby actor Jack O'Connell. | This is Der...
  4. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/dec/07/jack-oconnell-my-world-just-got-bigger-unbroken?CMP=twt_gu
  5. ^ http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/film/jack-o-connell-from-skins-to-superstardom-1.1732353
  6. ^ Jack O'Connell ('The Runaway') – TV Interview – Digital Spy
  7. ^ Grant, Olly (21 April 2011). "A moving BBC drama reunites the Busby Babes". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  8. ^ Conner, Megan (7 December 2014). "Jack O’Connell: ‘My world just got much bigger’". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Adams, Alison. "Between You & Me". Derbyshire Constabulary. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  10. ^ Norman, Sally (1 October 2008). "Drama of crime and consequences". Children & Young People Now (Youth Work Now supplement) (Haymarket Media). Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  11. ^ "skins – fourth series just announced! – Skins news – E4.com – skins". E4.com. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  12. ^ Empireonline.com
  13. ^ Barnes, Ruth (13 October 2009). "Caine's chill out". BBC 6 Music. BBC. 
  14. ^ Video Chase & Status ft Plan B – End Credits van Chase and Status – Myspace Video
  15. ^ BBC Two – Dive
  16. ^ Ferguson, Euan (11 July 2010). "TV review: Dive; Identity; To Kill a Mockingbird at 50". The Guardian (London). 
  17. ^ "Emmerdale scores TV Choice hat-trick". BBC News. 6 September 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  18. ^ Beautiful Creatures: Authors
  19. ^ Variety http://variety.com/2013/film/news/fantastic-four-3-1200708738/ |url= missing title (help). 
  20. ^ "Past Winners of Fright Meter Awards". Fright Meter Awards. November 10, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  21. ^ "Fantasporto 2008". Fantasporto. November 10, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  22. ^ "DUBLIN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE ANNOUNCE JURY AWARD WINNERS AT JDIFF". Dublin International Film Festival. November 10, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Ida’ Wins Les Arcs Film Fest’s Top Award". Variety. December 20, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  24. ^ "2013 Nominations Announced for the 16th Annual British Independent Film Awards". British Independent Film Awards. November 10, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  25. ^ "2014 Chicago Film Critics Awards". Chicago Film Critics Association. Retrieved December 4, 2014. 
  26. ^ "National Board of Review names A Most Violent Year best film of 2014". The Guardian. December 3, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Hollywood Film Awards 2014 Winners". British Independent Film Awards. November 14, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  28. ^ "New York Film Critics Online Name 'Boyhood' Best Picture". The Hollywood Reporter. December 7, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  29. ^ "British Independent Film Awards Nominations 2014!". British Independent Film Awards. November 3, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2014. 
  30. ^ "TV Choice Awards 2010: Full list of winners". TV Choice. September 7, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2010. 
  31. ^ "50 Eme Festival de Television de Monte-Carlo". Monte-Carlo Television Festival. June 6, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 

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