Tuesday 20 March 2018

'It's a case of trying to keep a lid on the madness!' - Jack Reynor on fame, Sing Street and those Star Wars rumours

Dublin actor Jack Reynor talks new film Sing Street, coping with fame, Irish film, and how he'd feel if he could play Star Wars' Han Solo

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Jack Reynor is making no bones about the fact he would love to fulfil every young Star Wars fan's dream and play the role of Han Solo.

The 24-year-old actor has been tipped to take on the iconic role in a spin-off movie from 21 Jump Street directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord.

"I think the two directors are brilliant, brilliant directors," says Reynor.

"The things they've done so far, the 21 Jump Street movies they've done that completely rebranded that thing, not to mention The Lego Movie they did that was fantastic as well.

Sing Street

"They're guys who can take something that can be quite a conventional idea and turn it on its head and make it something new so I think for that film they're really the right guys to be doing it."

As for potentially bagging the role, he adds, "If I have an opportunity to play that character of course it will blow my f***ing mind!  It's Han Solo! 

"Who doesn't love that character? Who doesn't love Harrison Ford? They're massive boots to fill but if I'm granted the opportunity I'll go for it full steam ahead and give it my best shot."

Reynor is currently starring in Sing Street, the latest offering from Once and Begin Again director John Carney. which wowed on the festival circuit and earned a standing ovation at Sundance.

Sing Street
Sing Street

The theme of brothers and what they mean to one another is prominent in the film and Reynor drew from his relationship with his uncle, who is 18 years his senior, and his 8-year-old brother for his role.

"In a lot of ways the character I play in the film is a tribute to my uncle really and just the way I saw him growing up and how important his opinions about things were to me," he says.

"Then there's the reverse perspective of when making the film I was thinking aboutmy younger brother and how I'd feel if he was in the same situation as [co-star] Ferdia [Walsh-Peelo] and what advice I'd give him, which is in the post - that's on the way in the next few years for me!"

While the central character in the movie has to grow up very quickly, Reynor doesn't feel he's had to face a similar challenge in real life.

However, he has had to get his head around his new-found Hollywood-level fame.

"I don't think it's been necessarily a case of growing up very quickly but definitely it's been about developing a method of relating to what's going on around you in your life and trying to find a way of not going mental and losing your head and kind of keeping the values you had before all of it kicked off," he says.

"For me it's very important, I live down in the countryside in County Wicklow, and it's very important that as much as I can I just go home and I go out walking like I always used to do in the woods and do the same kinds of things I did as a kid.

"Those are the things that keep me grounded and hopefully keep a level of authenticity to me and the ability to be a genuine kind of person.  I think that's very important as an actor but it's also very important for you to have a balanced lifestyle.

"So it's not so much a case of growing up just more a case of trying to keep a lid on the madness!"

The young star kicked off his career in The Factory in Dublin and first worked with John Carney when he produced his first feature Dollhouse, which was directed by Kirsten Sheridan.

"The factory I was a part of at that time was really fantastic and that's where I started with Lance Daly, Kirsten Sheridan, John and Maureen Hughes," says Jack.

"As my career went on John was always full of great advice for me and we were really good pals.  When he was doing Begin Again I was probably sleeping in his office 3 or 4 nights of the week while he was away.

"I would nick all his camera lenses and steal all his s**t so I could go and shoot my own stuff and then he came home and I stopped!

"He came to me with this film anyway and it was a total pleasure to it with him.  We're just really solid mates and I'm excited about working with him again soon."

Asked if he's conscious of making an effort to work on Irish films, he says it's all down to the script and diversity of characters.

"I just want to make sure whatever I choose is as far away from what I've just done as possible," he says.

"As far as it goes with Irish film in the future, hopefully I'm not running out of road in the Irish film industry.  Certainly next time I pick pu a script with a really promising director attached and it's really good content and I feel there's a character in there I can work with I'll be all over it."

Sing Street releases March 17.

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