jamie blackley talks sex scenes, football, and hanging out with joaquin phoenix
Jamie Blackley is about to hit the big time. He’s just finished shooting the new Woody Allen movie, a film so shrouded in mystery that even Jamie doesn’t know what it’s about, while Kids in Love, the hotly anticipated coming of age story in which he...
More importantly, If I Stay, the thing that's got everyone tweeting, just hit screens this month. Playing the lead male role of Adam, not only does Jamie get to pretend he's a small town rock god with an American accent, he also gets to lock lips with teen dream actress Chloë Grace Moretz. But that's not all: since leaving high school some years ago, young Jamie has snogged Kate Bosworth in And While We Were Here, avenged Jaime Winstone's death in Uwantme2killhim?, interned for Benedict Cumberbatch in The Fifth Estate, sung in a Bollywood movie, spoken to the camera, and muttered more than a few lines in Snow White and the Huntsman. And he's only 22.
How was your weekend, were you at Carnival?
No I didn't go. I was at my mate's house in West London last night, and I came home on the tube during Carnival. It was mental; people were smoking on the tube.
You filmed Kids in Love there, right?
Yeah, we did. We were in and around that.
What was it like being on set with such a young, fun cast?
It was really fun. I'd met Seb (De Souza) before through work, but the others I became friends with after. They're great.
Do you prefer having a really fun vibe on set or do you like to take work more seriously?
Oh God no. People walking around on set being all serious, I can't do that at all.
Do you feel more comfortable working with people your own age?
I guess it depends on the people really, I like both. The last film I did was all old people, which I really liked.
Which one was that?
It was the Woody Allen one.
How was it working with Woody?
Amazing, really cool. I'm really excited to see that film. He doesn't ever release his scripts, so I don't actually know what it's about. But it makes sense as my character doesn't really need to know what's going on.
Why, is it a cameo?
Haha. Yeah, my little cameo role.
What made you want to act?
I don't know. I was never really a film buff or anything. I just enjoyed doing it.
Were you the really shy kid at school who came alive when in the role of others? You hear that a lot these days…
Haha, no. That's bullshit, I was never shy. It's more about when you read something and go, ''would I be able to do that to an ok standard?'' I think that's what it is for me.
Did you train professionally?
Hmm, no. I mean I didn't go to drama school, but I did go to Sylvia Young for like 5 years.
Do you ever watch the films you're in?
I do watch them, yeah. But I can't watch them like other films, I watch them through my fingers.
Watching sex scenes back must be the worst…
Horrible. Always awkward. Kissing scenes: awkward. Sex scenes: awkward.
Would you ever do a full on nudie?
I don't know, you know? That would scare the life out of me! I don't know if I could do it. It's like someone literally just pulling your trousers down in front of everybody.
What about when you have to speak to the camera in We Are The Freaks, was that quite awkward to film?
Yeah, really, really awkward. I didn't want to make it too much, but it was a really fun film to do.
You've played quite a few different roles now - bad boy, rocker, romantic lead - what's been your favourite?
I don't know. I liked And While We Were Here. And a movie called Uwantme2killhim? was really fun. That was my first lead role, so that was one of my favourites.
Do you enjoy taking the lead or do you get nervous?
I get nervous in whatever role, completely shit myself.
What about when you're on stage?
That's different 'cos adrenaline gets you through it. With shooting it's more stop/start, you have more time to get nervous.
So tell me about If I Stay. What was it like to film?
It was great, really fun. We were up in Vancouver, which is a really cool city. You can be in the city one minute and then be up in the mountains the next. I went up there a bit earlier to record some of the tracks.
You looked very comfortable up on stage in the gig scenes, is that something you'd ever want to go into?
I've always been interested in bands. When you're up there it's just ridiculous fun.
Do you ever get the giggles when doing romantic scenes? What was the line your character says to Chloë Moretz's, ''I see you''?
Haha, sometimes. I imagine what it would be like to say it in real life, ''the you you are now, is the you you were yesterday''. You just have to make it seem as authentic as possible, and it works for the film.
You've worked with a pretty impressive range of actors, do you ever feel intimidated or star struck?
Yeah, constantly. I get star struck all the time. But once you get over the initial ''oh my god'' you just relax into it; they're just normal people.
Who has been the coolest to work with?
Joaquin Phoenix. He's just so cool. We hung around and chatted a little bit. He's a really interesting guy who I've always looked up to so to have the chance to work with him was pretty out of this world.
It must be quite hard when you're first starting out as an actor, constantly waiting for your big break, constant auditions, call backs, rejections - how do you cope with that?
It's weird, yeah. I've never had a problem with just sitting around. I didn't work in between If I Stay and the Woody one, which was over half a year. I just sat around and played football.
Who do you support?
Crystal Palace. I actually play football with Preston (Thompson, co-writer and co-star of Kids in Love) every Friday under the Westway.
What would be your dream role?
Anything. Anyone who wants me, please! I'd love to play a footballer, actually, like George Best.
Who did he play for, not Crystal Palace?
United, but there aren't many Crystal Palace players that warrant a biopic…
Ok last question, what are you most excited about either right now or coming up?
I'm excited to see the Woody film. And whatever's coming up next. It's kind of fun not knowing what's around the corner…
Text Tish Weinstock
Photography Yuvali Theis