BAFTA Rising Star nominee Jack Lowden: ‘Acting is petrifying’

"There’s very few directors that have the ability to actually put an actor at ease"

Dunkirk’s Jack Lowden has been nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award alongside four other up-and-coming actors he’ll go head-to-head with in a public vote – before an overall winner is announced at the BAFTA Awards in February.

The Rising Star nominations, which honour young acting talent who have “demonstrated exceptional talent and ambition”, were announced at the Savoy Hotel by actor Tom Hiddleston, a former nominee from 2012, and Lowden was in attendance with Top Boy actor Micheal Ward.

Speaking from a plush Savoy Hotel suite following the announcement, Lowden revealed that despite his recent critical successes in films like Dunkirk and Calibre, he still finds acting an uncomfortable experience.

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“It is petrifying. It’s so about you, you know, it’s about your work, and also you are your work, and it’s not a place I feel comfortable being, talking about myself, but it’s an enormously fun job that you get to do. The camera’s on you, it can pick up anything,” he told NME.

England Is Mine
Jack Lowden as Morrissey in ‘England Is Mine’. Credit: Press

His strategy for feeling less petrified about acting? “Do it less,” he said.

“Or really pick and choose who you work with. The people behind the camera, the director, makes a massive difference. There’s very few directors that have the ability to actually put an actor at ease. I’ve worked with two or three and it makes a massive difference.

“Someone who knows how to talk to actors. Acting’s the sort of magical bit that no one can really predict and happens once all the technical stuff’s taken care of. There are some directors that are tremendous at harnessing that, and some that aren’t.

Despite his fears about actually doing the acting, Lowden is confident the industry is becoming more compassionate. “I think the types of roles are changing, not just for women, but changing massively for men, which is quite exciting,” he said.

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Lowden has been nominated alongside actors Micheal Ward, Awkwafina, Kaitlyn Dever and Kelvin Harrison Jr. for the Rising Star Award, but he’s keen not to let awards season detract from his continuing work to better his own personal relationship with acting.

“It’s something that you only probably fantasise about when you’re very young, because it is held up very early on as sort of the pinnacle,” he said. “You don’t think about it day-to-day and you certainly don’t think about it when you’re doing the work.

He added: “I love that they do this award. It’s very important because it helps younger people get going. It can be the difference between someone getting a job and not. Everybody wishes it wasn’t like that, but it does…”

The BAFTA Rising Star Award is voted for by the public and voting is open now.

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