Seeing as it is St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d share the acting talents of a young Irishman who has been on my radar for the past year or so named Jack Reynor. Born in the US, Jack moved back to his mother’s native Ireland as a toddler. He's been getting TV and film work since 2010 and has had occasion to traverse the pond several times during his thus far impressive career.
I first discovered him in 2016’s Sing Street. Reynor plays Brendan, the unmotivated stoner brother of the main character, Conor (Ferida Walsh-Peelo). Brendan teaches his brother about music, girls and how to cope with the pressures of their Dublin-based, dysfunctional family. Jack’s performance was a real highlight in this outstanding film, earning him a Best Supporting Actor IFTA (Irish Film & Television Award) in the process.
If you are intrigued to see more, Sing Street is available to stream on Netflix.
First however, we need to go back to Reynor’s breakthrough role in Ireland, playing the title character in the 2012 independent film, What Richard Did. The movie depicts the fall of a teenaged golden boy whose world spins out of control after he participates in a violent act in the heat of the moment. Jack won his first IFTA award for Best Actor for this charismatic performance.
Success at home opened doors in Hollywood, securing Jack a supporting role in the 2013 Vince Vaughn comedy Delivery Man. He played barista/aspiring actor Josh, one of the numerous children Vaughn’s character fathered through a series of sperm donations in his younger days.
Reynor was then invited to join the cast of an established Hollywood blockbuster franchise. He played Irish race car driver Shane Dyson in 2014’s Transformers : Age of Extinction. This appears to be your obligatory mindless action role for handsome young newcomers. Fingers crossed, projects like this will be few and far between in this talented actor's future CV.
In 2015, Jack quit Tinseltown to do something period, monarchical and just a bit romantic. A Royal Night Out tells the story of the Windsor sisters and their incognito adventures on V-E night. When a headstrong and rather naïve Princess Margaret (Bel Powley) gets swept away with mobs of celebratory Londoners, the dangerously ill-equipped Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) enlists the assistance of English airman Jack Hodges, played by Reynor of course. Though cynical about the war and his country, Jack is a gentleman who is incapable of turning his back on a damsel in distress.
If you hanker for a little royal-commoner swooning, A Royal Night Out can also be streamed on Netflix.
Finally, we take a look at Jack’s newest project, due to be released next month, called Free Fire. Set in 1970’s Boston, two gangs meet in a deserted warehouse to do an arms deal. But when shots are fired during the handover, everyone involved is suddenly engaged in an explosive and darkly funny game of survival. Directed by Brit Ben Wheatley, the ensemble also features Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, Armie Hammer and Brie Larson. I can’t speak to Reynor’s role in this project yet, but the trailer promises a zany, stylized shoot-em-up.
If you don’t know Jack Reynor’s work yet, I hope you’ll check it out. And if you’re already a fan, please share your favorite roles of his dynamic young Irish actor. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in years to come.