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Celeb Discovery Story: Here’s How Jack O’Connell Went From “Party Boy” to “Leading Man”

You know him as the British “Skins” self-destructive character, Cook, Angelina Jolie’s leading man in “Unbroken,” and now, everyone’s newest heartthrob … he’s Jack O’Connell!

Jack O’Connell was born to an Irish father and British mother in Alvaston, Derby, England, and grew up in a working-class family. O’Connell wanted to be a professional football player, but after injuries ended his career, he decided he wanted to join the army. However, Jack’s juvenile criminal record restricted him from entering the army. Despite being in and out of court for alcohol and violence related charges at a young age, Jack’s love for theatre at a young age prevailed and he decided to give acting, professionally, a try.

O’Connell did a bunch of short films and television appearances when he started out, but it wasn’t until 2009 when he was cast as the sexually promiscuous, bad boy, James Cook (Cook), in Britain’s wildly successful teen drama, “Skins.” After his success from “Skins,” Jack started landing more leading roles like “’71” and “300: Rise of an Empire.”

Though popular and well known in the UK, it was in 2014 when Angelina Jolie chose O’Connell as the star of her third directorial project, “Unbroken,” the film adaptation of the successful non-fiction novel, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, when O’Connell became noticed in the U.S.

Since his success in “Unbroken,” Jack has gone on to win a Rising Star BAFTA Award, and has landed roles opposite, Christoph Waltz, Judi Dench, George Clooney, and Julia Roberts! If you want to score a role in Jack’s next hit and for all other casting opportunities, stick to ClaimFame for all your casting needs!

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