Angelina Jolie may not know it, but one of the actors who she directed in the past, Jack O’Connell, misses her. O’Connell, who Jolie directed in Unbroken, recently dished on his feelings for Angelina and the “good thing” that he enjoys with Sienna Miller, who at one point was rumored to be enjoying a fling with Jolie’s ex Brad Pitt. Jack also talked about the challenges of nudity for an actor. Or as he refers to the no-clothes aspect of his new play, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, “bits and bobs come out.”
Reflecting on his acting career, O’Connell responded to a compliment from The Times that he can take charge of a room “without saying a word, with a walk or a look,” by giving the interviewer “an extraordinary, tractor-beam stare.” It’s a commanding achievement that comes after Jack was named BAFTA’s Rising Star in 2015; called “star of the future” by Michael Caine, with whom he appeared in Harry Brown, and directed by Angelina, noted the Times.
“Angelina Jolie chose [Jack O’Connell] to play Louis Zamperini, the American athlete turned Second World War POW, in her film Unbroken.”
O’Connell is in the spotlight now because of the forthcoming revival of Tennessee Williams’ play Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, and he talked about the play as well as his past, including his experience working with Jolie. In the revival, Jack plays Brick and the 26-year-old actor co-stars with Sienna Miller.
Taking on the role that Elizabeth Taylor played in the 1958 film version of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Sienna will be sporting costumes that include a racy bra. And while Miller will be competing with memories of Taylor stunning viewers in her lingerie, O’Connell will be taking on memories of Paul Newman in the role of Brick.
The play is directed by Benedict Andrews, and it’s an updated version that includes mobile phones, Bang & Olufsen speakers, and what the Times called “a fair bit of nudity.” Jack reflected on that aspect of his role.
“Yeah, the bits and bobs come out…They’re your private parts… you can’t just be exposing yourself indecently.”
The actor has some experience in removing his clothes for roles and admits that while baring his body is not as “nerve-racking” as it used to be, it’s still not an easy act to go nude in front of an audience.
“I wouldn’t call it easy,” admitted O’Connell. “You’re automatically in an intimate space with people. It’s got to be right [before going nude].”
Helping Jack make it right is Sienna. Miller and O’Connell are clicking in their co-starring roles when it comes to chemistry, he admitted.
“[Sienna Miller is] very pleasant to be around. We’ve got a good thing going.”
Looking forward to the future, Jack has his fingers crossed that their chemistry lingers throughout the run of the play.
“I think, I just hope to Christ it lasts us for the whole run. It would be a nightmare if we ended up hating each other,” he admitted.
And that raises the question of whether the actor has endured an experience where he ended up disliking a co-star. Yes, he admitted, going so far as to speculate that the hatred was “mutual.” However, O’Connell isn’t naming names, calling it “unclassy” to do so.
The remarks about his chemistry with Sienna Miller come in the wake of rumors that Sienna and Brad Pitt were dating. As the Inquisitr reported, Miller and Pitt reportedly were recently seen “seriously flirting” during an evening out with friends, sparking rumors that they were involved in a romantic relationship.
As for Jack’s relationship with Sienna off-stage, the spotlight is on. The Times pointed out why.
“His offstage relations with Miller will be closely watched, given his previous form with co-stars (he was linked with Kaya Scodelario, with whom he appeared in Skins, and Cara Delevingne, who stars with him in the forthcoming Tulip Fever).”
O’Connell also shared that he is not currently involved, responding with “negative” to the question of whether he has a girlfriend and emphasizing that he’s single. The tattooed actor has one ink that reads “Jack the Lad,” and he’s known for overcoming challenges in his teenage years that include what he calls a “brutal” secondary school.
However, “Jack the Lad” has earned a reputation as a survivor as well, after ending up in court for charges linked to violence and drinking and getting a one-year young offender’s referral order at 17. That “wild child” reputation early on bears similarities to Angelina Jolie’s past, pointed out the Times.
And when it came to the question of his feelings for Angelina Jolie, he doesn’t hesitate to gush about their relationship.
The actor shared that he and Angelina were in touch by email a few months ago. Although O’Connell admitted that he used to be asked about Jolie frequently, he said it’s less frequently now. But that doesn’t change his feelings about Angelina.
Jack recalled that when one of his friends passed away from liver cancer, Jolie hired a helicopter and flew up to spend some time with his friend’s family.
“She didn’t owe that to anyone,” pointed out the actor, confessing his feelings.
“I miss [Angelina Jolie]!”
As for why Angelina chose him for the role in Unbroken, The Times speculated that it was because Jolie recognized “a kindred spirit, another wild child turned focused achiever.” It’s a question that O’Connell is cautious about.
“Yeah, perhaps,” he admitted. “She did a lot for me.”
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]