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You Don't Know Jack
Still in his teens, he’s one of television’s hottest properties – but for Jack Gleeson, it seems there’s more to life than red carpets and critical acclaim.
Dave Hanratty, 04 May 2012
“Originally, all the characters were going to be puppets,” he notes. “The director, Dan Colley, made the choice for Toby, my character, to be human. He’s castigated by society because he’s a monster – so we’re kind of playing with that, the Human Vs. Puppet thing. I’ve had no trouble operating the puppets but it certainly is very, very difficult to master it. It’s so hard to split your brain in half because one half is telling you to move your hand a specific way and the other half is trying to remember lines, where you have to be and to be an actor and emote. Initially your eye was drawn more to the actor because he was emoting – but the puppet is the star, so we’ve put the focus on that.”
Jack might insist that the puppet is the star, and the production is very much a team effort, but it’s his face adorning the poster, a natural result of his rising profile. He’s slightly reluctant to be out front, but accepts that it has to be that way.
Is it true that he has been inundated with film scripts?
“It is! And I feel terribly ungrateful saying no to them because everybody wants to be an actor and be in big films, but at the same time I think I have to be true to myself and just bite the bullet and say, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do it’. At the moment I can’t envisage myself going back to acting – but there’s no point in saying it’s set in stone because we can always change. I’m not sure whether I hope I don’t change, but I’d like to think that I’ve made a solid decision.”
Having received his big-screen break in 2005 with a small but memorable turn in Christopher Nolan’s franchise-reviving Batman Begins, the young Jack came face to mask with the Caped Crusader himself, Christian Bale. Was he shouting at production assistants between takes?
“No, he wasn’t,” he chuckles. “He was lovely. It was a bit of a blur but definitely very cool. I was very young at the time so I don’t think I really knew how big a film it was or the gravitas of the situation. I certainly had a good time and yeah. It’s Batman! Fuckin’ class, yeah. Katie Holmes!”