I recently got the chance to talk to Jamie Thomas King about his role in Sheridan Smith’s new film, ‘Tower Block’. Here, Jamie talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and how he got into acting in the first place…
Hey Jamie. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Tower Block’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
It’s a thriller based around the residents of Tower Block 31 who suddenly start being picked off by a sniper and thrust into a battle to survive.
Tell us a bit about your character and involvement in the movie…
I’m Sheridan Smith’s love interest at the beginning of the film just before things get ugly. I can’t say too much, but there’s a pretty shocking moment in the film that really brings about a major shift in the action from then on.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
The director of ‘Storage 24’ Joannes Roberts is friends with ‘Tower Block’ directors James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson and he suggested me to them. I started working on ‘Tower Block’ a couple of days after finishing ‘Storage’.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
They filmed it with a very intense and visceral style yet the characters are very well drawn out too. It’s often hard to find something that has this high-octane action and maintains a sense of real and believable characters.
The film stars Sheridan Smith, Jack O‘Connell, Ralph Brown, Russell Tovey, Jill Baker, Loui Batley, Steven Cree and Nabil Elouahabi – with James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson onboard as directors – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
I did all my scenes with Sheridan Smith who was a delight. She’s very funny and sweet. Our first scene was in bed together half-naked which is always a funny thing to start with. You are introduced to each other and then just have to jump in and get on with it.
Let’s talk a bit about you Jamie. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
When I was little, starting from about 5 or 6, I used to make costumes from bits of my parents clothes and charity shop stuff. Then I’d dress up into the characters and tell my family to only refer to me as my character’s name. And it would go on for days like that. A sort of method child actor! Sometimes I went to school like that. I then got into proper plays at school and started making short films during my spare time. I went to drama school when I was 18 and then started working professionally after that.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Make your own stuff happen. It’s great if someone gives you a break, but what are you going to do if they don’t? Write your own stories, use your mobile phone to make a short film, get together with clubs, groups and be busy. Do whatever you can do to be proactive and avoid waiting for it to come to you. Good things come to those who hustle.
You’ve had a number of roles in different films and TV series – which actors/actresses have been your favourites to work with and why? Any good stories?
I loved working on ‘Mad Men’ when I was in the States. Everything was so detailed and well thought out. I really like Jon Hamm and John Slattery. When I first met John, the first morning I was filming with him, he’d had just been surfing at 5am that morning. I thought that was so cool. That doesn’t happen much in south-east London!
What’s currently on your I-Pod right now?
I’m playing Rodriguez non stop at the moment. He’s the long-lost folk hero of the 70’s that the film ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ is all about. I’d never heard of him before and he’s written the most staggeringly beautiful poetry and music.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
George Harrison because of his music and his spirit, Shakespeare for his knowledge and poetry, and Richard Pryor to make us all laugh.
You’re stuck on a desert island, you’re only allowed three personal things with you – what would you choose and why?
A pen and a note-book for keeping a diary, drawing and making lists of things that need doing. A watch to keep track of time. And a knife for killing things to eat and self-defence.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
After doing three films last year, I’ve been back doing TV this year. I just finished filming an action mini series with Jeremy Sisto and Emile De Ravin called ‘Air Force One Is Down’. I play an MI6 agent and I do lots of fighting, shooting guns and jumping away from bombs and land mines and stuff. That was all really fun. And right now I’m working on the second series of the BBC hit series ‘Call The Midwife’.
Thanks for the interview!