Jack living the dream as he tries to make big time on stage and screen
Few people have successfully managed to swap the Illuminations of Blackpool for the bright lights of Hollywood.
The likes of David Thewlis and John Mahoney have managed to carve out distinguished film careers, whereas Jenna Coleman has become one of the first ladies of television.
But one young actor, hoping to make is mark across the pond is Jack Bell.
26-year-old Jack, who grew up near Stanley Park, is currently part of the local ensemble for the Touring Production’s adaptation of a Tale of Two Cities at the Grand Theatre.
Earlier this summer, he was involved in a national project along the Fylde, called ‘#WeAreHere’, artistically directed by Turner Prize winning Jeremy Deller.
In the piece, which commemorated the Battle of the Somme, Jack played the role of Private Robert Gordon Brown, a real soldier from the 18th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment.
It’s something that actually managed to move Jack, “It was a big project, it was sort of daunting as well and it was quite moving because the people we were representing had died.” He said. “For instance, the person I was representing had died aged only 23.”
Jack started out, like a lot of actors, by doing extras work – appearing in television staples Hollyoaks, The Royal and Emmerdale.
However, upon studying Theatre and Drama Studies at Blackpool Sixth Form, Jack found a love for theatre and over the last few years has taken on a few different roles, including two in the same play.
“I’ve done touring theatre, usually with Theatre in Education,” he said. “I’ve toured across the UK playing Aslan in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and also the young boy Edmund.”
He added: “I’m also part of Poulton Drama. I was involved in a play about two years ago with them called Christmas Fair, where I played a Welsh character. That was written by famous playwright Jim Cartwright and that was nominated for a NODA.”
More recently, Jack has started to get into film acting, including an appearance in a Jonathan Kent directed short film, set on the Fylde, named ‘Tidal’. He’s also set to grace screens in a very topical film, due for release in America and England, called ‘Brexit’.
Jack said, “I played a gay character, which was a first because I wanted to show my versatility as an actor.
“The Brexit theme speaks to me as well, everyone’s talking about it but nobody really knows what will happen.
“It was all up in the air and it was a scary time because I was playing someone who’s gay but also who’s European and not from this country.
“So it was looking at the effect that had on him and his friends.”
Jack’s also had the opportunity to learn from very experienced performers including Ice Neal on upcoming feature films The Unfathomable Mr Jones, somebody who has worked with the likes of Stanley Kubrick.
“She’s directing and I also act alongside her, it was quite brilliant to learn from someone with such experience because as an actor you’re always learning,” he said.
However, it was a trip to Los Angeles last year, which really convinced him that being in films is the way he wants to take his career.
“Last year I travelled to Los Angeles and studied at the Beverley Hills Playhouse with director Milton Katselas,” he said. “I was networking with producers such as Todd Hallowell, who was doing the X Men film and I also managed to get a management company out there, which is Advanced Talent Management. They said that they’d love to work with me but I haven’t got a visa. So I need to save for a visa and come back when I’ve got the funds.”
He added: “It can be an expensive hobby and career choice, if you haven’t got the funding behind you it can be tricky.”
A man of many talents, Jack is now hoping to set up his own one-man-show to help with funding.
“I’ve got a YouTube channel where I do impressions of the likes of Leanardo DiCaprio in the Aviator. This is something I’d like to progress with as I’m looking at doing my own one man show with FYC Creatives in Blackpool,” he said. “I’ll be doing impressions and taking that to the next level.”
If you want to see how Jack’s career progresses, you can follow him on Twitter: @JackBell_Actor.