Although he had a role, under some heavy make-up, in this year's 300: Rise of an Empire, the buzz for rising star Jack O'Connell began when Angelina Jolie picked him to star in Unbroken. But for those who have been keeping an eye on the actor for awhile the film that put him on a lot of radars was the prison drama, Starred Up. It has played at a lot of festivals and is due to hit theaters in the U.S. soon, and now a new trailer has been released for it.
Directed by David Mackenzie (Spread) and based on writer Jonathan Asser's experiences working in London's prison system, the story follows a violent young criminal who "graduates" from a youth facility into the same adult prison where his estranged father (Ben Mendelsohn) is held. It looks a little bit like Bronson, which turned out to be the breakout role for Tom Hardy, and if this comes close to having the same intensity it could be a star-making turn for O'Connell.
Starred Up opens on August 29th.
PLOT: 19-year-old Eric, arrogant and ultra-violent, is prematurely transferred to the same adult prison facility as his estranged father. As his explosive temper quickly finds him enemies in both prison authorities and fellow inmates—and his already volatile relationship with his father is pushed past breaking point—Eric is approached by a volunteer psychotherapist, who runs an anger management group for prisoners. Torn between gang politics, prison corruption, and a glimmer of something better, Eric finds himself in a fight for his own life, unsure if his own father is there to protect him or join in punishing him. Written by prison system therapist Jonathan Asser, STARRED UP is a merciless, uncompromising portrayal of a dehumanizing life behind bars.