Jack O’Connell has landed some plum roles in his burgeoning career, starring in Angelina Jolie’s "Unbroken" with Domhnall Gleeson a couple of years ago, and now co-starring with George Clooney and Julia Roberts in "Money Monster," directed by Jodie Foster.
The 25-year-old native of Derby in the U.K. has often talked about his Irish roots, and last week he told the Irish Times that he wishes he had been born on Irish soil.
“I am not as Irish as I would like to be,” he said. “If I could choose, I’d love to be able to claim I was born there. I follow Ireland in the football and rugby. I follow Kerry in the football. I follow the culture. But not too much or you get dubbed a ‘plastic Paddy.’”
Doesn’t seem to be anything fake about O’Connell, whose late father John Patrick emigrated from Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry. Jack gravitated towards his dad’s side of the family tree as his mother is British-born.
“I liked getting clued up on my dad’s Irish history. That helped me as an adolescent I think. Knowing about that was very important to me,” O’Connell told the Times.
“But the upbringing I had in Derby was very important as well. I went to Catholic schools that attracted a lot of Irish. You could have got on sound if you minded your own business. But you would have been one of the lucky few.”
Look for O’Connell, who won the BAFTA Rising Star award last year, in two more films before the close of 2016 – "HHhH" with Rosamund Pike, and "Tulip Fever" with Alicia Vikander and Cara Delevingne.