Monday 17 June 2019

O'Connell: I dreamt of fry-ups

Jack O'Connell plays Louie Zamperini in Unbroken (PA Photo/Universal Pictures)
Jack O'Connell plays Louie Zamperini in Unbroken (PA Photo/Universal Pictures)

Jack O'Connell has revealed how he dreamt of fry-ups and Guinness while he was dieting for Unbroken.

The former Skins star had to embark on a strict eating regime to play the emaciated former Olympic-winning athlete turned prisoner-of-war Louie Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's biopic, but he admitted he hallucinated over his favourite foods.

"I was hallucinating. I'd have killed for a good fry up. Beer, Guinness, I couldn't go near Guinness for however long," he said.

Once filming ended, Jack said he couldn't even enjoy his dream. He joked: "And then, sod's law, we finished the diet and my stomach had shrunk so even when it was time to eat, I couldn't. Science!"

Jack, who considered joining the Army before his career took off, said the experience would have served him well.

"I dodged a bullet there. I dodged a bullet quite literally. I've got tremendous respect for the lads," he said.

"I find whatever experience I had at the Army, I find very useful on set - the whole idea of standing to attention and dealing with authority helps your day along."

The 24-year-old actor, who was hand-picked by Angelina to play Louie, has carved out a successful career in film, winning acclaim for his performances in Starred Up, '71 and This Is England. But he admitted he only started acting because it was a way to make his name away from his hometown of Derby.

"That was all with one eye slightly focused on now, because hopefully and essentially there was a way out of where I'm from, and a chance to really define myself and do something with my life," he said. "It is very humbling recalling all of that."

:: Unbroken is in cinemas now.

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