Jack O'Connell: George Clooney coached me on Money Monster
Jack O'Connell says George Clooney helped him to "hit the ground running" on set of 'Money Monster'.
The 25-year-old British actor struck up an almost instant bond with the Hollywood hunk, 55, due to their shared love of sport and he appreciated his older co-star's advice on set.
He said: "With thanks for George, I hit the ground running. I felt very comfortable around him. We have similar interests as well, regarding sport. If I was lost with something he helped me discover it. That's very giving, as an actor, that's very generous."
O'Connell plays Kyle Budwell, a down-on-his-luck investor left penniless after he puts all of his money on a tip Clooney's alter-ego Lee Gates gives on his TV show 'Media Monster', and says he jumped at the chance to work with Clooney, director Jodie Foster and Julia Roberts, who plays journalist Patty Fenn.
He told Deadline: "For me I had to audition, which that probably kids you into thinking you want it more anyway, but for this that didn't apply man, I wanted in. I was very thankful tha Jodie responded well and placed that faith in me ... To hear that Julia Roberts was going to play Patty and George Clooney was in there with Lee Gates ... it becomes more exciting."
Being the youngest star on set and playing a man constantly on the edge, after Kyle takes Wall Street guru Gates hostage during a live television broadcast, O'Connell found it helpful to have the wealth of experienced actors around him.
He added: "A character like Kyle becomes a little uninteresting if you try to play him at one energy, so the key to him was to take your foot off the peddle a little. I think there's some very nice human moments between lee and Kyle in particular. There were very ironic and unbelievable situations. And that's a credit to the writing. Me and Jodie would talk frequently about when we thought perhaps Kyle was up tempo and times when he was more relaxed."
Despite O'Connell's ascent in Hollywood it doesn't mean the star will turn his back on British films.
He said: "Hypothetically speaking, I think it would be a bit hard to swallow if I suddenly decided to focus on one more than the other. For me the value is in the lessons you learn. As a 25 year old acting for 10 years, I have to be open minded to the progression of it all."