By Adam Ray Palmer.
Whilst in Berlin this year, I had the chance to catch a short film named Jacked. It has previously been shown at the London Film Festival last October but I missed my chance to catch it. So last Sunday (14th Feb) when I got the call to finally see it and also interview the stars, I was stoked.
Thomas Turgoose and Charley Palmer Rothewll are two up-and-coming British actors who helm Rene Pannevis' short. You can read my review below followed by an interview we took part it.
Check it out...
Rene Pannevis’ short film ‘Jacked’ debuted a few months ago around the London Film Festival. Last weekend, it hit the 66th Berlinale.
Two promising Brits headline the short film set in a built-up urban location that seems to be the East London area. Jacked is helmed by This Is England’s Thomas Turgoose and Legend’s Charley Palmer Rothwell. Both actors have made bright starts to their careers and Rene’s Jacked is another great addition to their canon.
The narrative is based on two youths searching back streets for decent cars to ‘jack’ so they can make a bit of cash. Once they find the right car, they discover a series of tapes with very personal messages on them from a dying man to his daughter.
The moral twist of ‘what to do next’ half way through the movie breaks up the short plot perfectly. After having five minutes of the gobby lads giving each other banter, the twist gives the narrative another dimension to play with. This is where the experienced Rene uses flashier sequences with blurred backgrounds and lots of point-of-view shots to get even more personal with the characters. The subtle soundtrack and the simple cinematography enables the gritty narrative to be the more prominent element.
Pannevis allows the two leads to flourish in their roles with the plot mainly revolving around their friendship and morals. The pair’s great chemistry makes the story more believable and tense. Turgoose delivers the more comprehensive role as he battles with his feelings more honestly where Charley is much more dismissive. They both bounce off each other soundly and make the overall production much more enjoyable. Also, you’ll be able to witness a James Blunt sing-along sequence that you don’t get in many films…
On the whole, Jacked delivers a layered narrative in such a short space of time. This is aided by two stellar British talents and neat direction by Rene. If you get the chance, Jacked is well-worth 15 minutes of your time.
Cineroom’s Rating: 4 Stars
CPR = Charley Palmer Rothwell | TT = Thomas Turgoose | ARP = Adam Ray Palmer
ARP: What is the story of Jacked?
TT: Jacked is a great little story about two young friends who have grown up together and are in a pretty dodgy line of work which entails car theft but this particular car causes a mix of arguments and emotions with the two lads.
ARP: Did you know each other before you started filming Jacked? What was it like working together?
CPR: No, we had never worked together but I had been a long-time fan of Thomas’ acting and his films. It was like we had been friends for years. We had a pre-filming drink, then another pre-filming drink then a third pre-filming drink and that was that. Working with someone you get along with is a dream. We didn't need much rehearsal as we could play off of each other, on top of that Thomas is a fantastic actor so you have full faith in all his decisions and you can just get on with your own choices. I think it shows in the film.
TT: I had never met Charley before we started to film just like he said. I'd saw some of his work and was buzzin’ about working with him and now it's safe to say we are really good friends. I see a lot of him whilst in London and what not.
ARP: What attracted you to the project and working with Rene Pannevis?
CPR: I didn't know too much about Rene if I'm honest. I first read the script and the story was touching and a beautiful snapshot of life. For me, that has to be a given, especially in a short. Then I went and met Rene and he discussed his personal connection with parts of the story and what he wanted from the project. On top of that it felt like the universe played a big part, as me and Rene again, like Thomas and I, felt like friends almost instantly. This was really cemented when Rene and I were test driving the “Tata” car you see throughout the film. It was a really cheap old car and I needed to learn how to drive it because it really is me driving it in the film. Anyway, we started driving it around East London and next thing we knew we were pulled over by the Police because apparently I had a hard time keeping the jeep in the middle of the lane. So they had followed us for a while and to them it looked really suspicious to have two white guys driving an Indian Tata. They pulled us over ‘cause they thought we were car thieves. I guess you could say Rene and I took rehearsals very seriously.
ARP: And what attracted you to the project Thomas?
TT: As soon as I read the script, I called my agent within the hour to say “I want this part!” and luckily we worked stuff out and I had the pleasure of working on this really well written script. Plus, I made some amazing friends.
ARP: Your mum, Patsy Palmer, has a cameo in Jacked Charley? Who does she play and how did that come about?
CPR: Her voice has a Cameo. Ha. She plays Russell’s nervous mother who is in debt and doesn’t see how she is financially exploited by a friend. It’s a touching subject. It came about through nepotism mainly but of course she is also an actress!
ARP: Regarding the film Legend, what was it like being on set with Tom Hardy? Did he give you any advice for the future?
CPR: His presence in film was one of the reasons I wanted to act professionally - it was a tick on the bucket list. Tom (Hardy) was in character 95% of the time, to me that was the best advice I could get.
ARP: And Thomas, what acting opportunities did this East End London story give you compared to your iconic role in This Is England?
TT: This job gave me the opportunity to become the strongest character of the two whereas in This Is England I’ve always been the young kid who never really had much power within the group so it was lovely to have that. Also, the freedom we were given with the script was awesome; we got to try the scenes in a lot of different ways with our own dialogue which is always awesome to do.
ARP: Any future projects coming up you can tell us about Charley?
CPR: I recently did a series called Ripper Street for Amazon Prime and BBC. I play the leader of the Skeleton Army and we are a gang of young street urchins who fight the Salvation Army. I've also completed a couple more shorts that are looking good and I'm about to start filming 'iboy'. It's a film based on the book by Kevin brooks and I’m playing the villain.
ARP: Is film your main passion? Or is television a potential avenue for you?
CPR: I have done a few series and I'm not exclusive to film. If the scripts good and the character interests me, I'm game.
ARP: One last thing Charley, do you have a favourite film?
CPR: Rust and bone or Le petit mouchoirs.
Make sure you catch Jacked whenever and wherever you can – it could be the best 15 minutes of your day.