Who's the biggest Irish celebrity success story of the summer? It’s Jack Reynor by a mile.
Fans of the mega-hit Transformers: Age of Extinction will certainly know who he is. Only 22, the Wicklow-raised Reynor was hand-picked for the co-starring role alongside Mark Wahlberg by Transformers director/producer Michael Bay, who spotted the Irish actor in a 2012 small Irish indie, What Richard Did. The Lenny Abrahamson-directed film earned great notices and an IFTA Best Actor award for Reynor from the Irish Film and Television Academy.
“He is an Irish kid that came to America with 30 bucks in his pocket. Pretty ballsy. Seriously who does that? Anyway I spotted him in a great little Irish movie What Richard Did. This kid is the real deal,” Bay said of his Irish find last year.
Reynor has toured the world in the past month promoting Transformers, which earned pretty rotten reviews but a boatload of money especially in places like China. Recently he was in Dublin for the premiere of the film, and spoke to the press about his super-hot career.
"The phone was not ringing. I had no money, my mother was very sick and everything was just grinding to a halt," he told the Irish Independent about the time before Bay made the call.
"I was at the very edge and then this happened. In a moment, everything turned around and since then I've been able to support my entire family, and I'm completely fulfilled and gratified."
Reynor, an only child, was born in Colorado where his Irish mother was living at the time, and returned to Wicklow when he was two. He seems to have his head screwed on straight and is taking his new fame in stride.
“There are two parts to my life,” he told The Irish Times. “And you have to be very black and white about that distinction. I know that when someone is coming up and asking me what kind of water I want, it’s because someone is paying them to do so. I’m the kind of person who wants to get out there and do my job. I’m not going to let stuff like that go to my head. That stuff is not real.”
Reynor, who is engaged to Irish model Madeleine Mulqueen, was back in Galway last weekend to promote his Irish film Glassland, which won several awards at the city’s Film Fleadh.