Peaky Blinders, Jack!






JACK ROWAN is a young actor with an already-enviable track record. Fresh from a BAFTA nomination for his first lead role, the ‘Peaky Blinders’ favourite has moved quickly and seamlessly onto the silver screen in Simon Amstell’s Benjamin. Currently filming the TV adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s ‘Noughts + Crosses’ in South Africa, we caught up with the young star to discuss his career thus far.


You received a BAFTA nomination for your first lead role (in ‘Born to Kill’) – an incredible achievement. Do you feel any additional pressure now to continue go for those sorts of awards or does it just inspire you to try and win them in future?

I went in to ‘Born To Kill’ with no expectations, which made the award nominations even more special to me. If I can go into every job with that same outlook then I won’t feel pressure as such, just a drive to do the best performance I possibly can. That way, if it leads to awards or not, I’ll never be disappointed.

I read that you filmed last Summer for Simon Amstell’s debut feature film, Benjamin, which is scheduled for release later this year. Was it tough to transition from some pretty dark, drama-driven roles to a comedic one?

It definitely was a challenge but it was one I was incredibly eager to take on. I want to look back in the future at a diverse body of work and say that I gave all genres a go and tried as many roles/characters as possible – as long as I see something in each one. It’s scary being on set and having to trust your natural instincts to try and evoke laughter, yet, I enjoyed every second of the experience.

There’s a widely-held perception that the film’s pretty heavily autobiographical. Was it tough to work on something with a director so personally invested in a project?

I’m sure that could be the case with some projects but Simon Amstell’s definitely an exception to that. He created an environment on set which was so positive and as an actor I felt completely free to do whatever came natural to me. That being said, Simon kept control of his message and was always there to give articulate and clear direction whenever he felt it was necessary.


You’ve got a lot of well-publicised interests outside of acting. Do you appreciate the fact that you can control – to some extent! – what fans and the general public know about you (through social media, interviews etc)? Or do you worry about public intrusion into your private life becoming too invasive?

I wouldn’t say it’s a worry at this current stage because I’m relatively early on in my career. Although, I do value privacy in my personal life and going forward it’s something I aim to keep. The less people know about me, the easier it is for someone to believe in the characters I play.


Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua – who’d win?

I’m going to have to stay on the fence with this one, because as a fan of the sport, they’re two boxers I’d like to meet. I don’t want to be in either ones bad books! So how’s about we go with a draw?!


Who’s had the greatest impact on your career so far?

Without a doubt its the whole ‘Born To Kill’ team. That project will forever have a place in my heart. Not only did it make me believe in my own ability, but it led to an agent in the states, multiple award nominations and posters all over the underground. All these things combined have opened so many more doors and I can’t wait for what the future holds.

Do you have a dream role? If so: what is it and why?

I wouldn’t say there’s a specific role that I see as being ‘The One.’ But as I said earlier, I’d love to take on characters in all genres of film, tv and theatre. For me, dream roles are apparent when they arrive. For example, ‘Born to Kill’ was one, and hopefully there’ll be many more.

‘Peaky Blinders’ season 5 is scheduled for 2019. If plot wasn’t an issue (ie: if your character were to stay alive and integral to the plot indefinitely), how long could you see yourself working on any one series?

If the journey of the character was right and it made sense in the bigger picture of my career, I can’t see why I wouldn’t stay in any one series.

What else are you working on later this year/next – acting-related or otherwise?

I have a few things lined up including a project later this year, but as it stands I’m unable to share any specific details. However, I can say I’m excited to embark on another controversial piece playing a complex character at its core.