Belfast Telegraph

O'Connell's dilemma over accent

Jack O'Connell has confessed he finds he has to hide his Derby accent in Hollywood as people struggle to understand him.

The 24-year-old British actor - who is among the nominess for the EE Rising Star Award at this year's Baftas - has worked with Angelina Jolie on drama Unbroken, and is about to star opposite George Clooney in a new movie.

O'Connell revealed: "The main issue is my accent, because when you're out talking to people who don't necessarily know Derby, you struggle to be intelligible. So I end up having to pronounce my s*** better out in different countries, and I get home and I slip back into it."

He joked he may have to have elocution lessons for future roles, adding: "But not personally - sod that! It's not that day and age is it? It's 2015 - subtitles man!"

The former Skins star said as soon as he got home and got a pint of Derby real ale in his hands he felt back to his old self.

"It's good, it's good. Just to get half way down a pint of real ale, in pubs that I know and love with the people I know and love, it doesn't take long for you to fall back into it."

O'Connell admitted he was "itching" to get back to work on his next project.

He said: "I can only focus on one step ahead, and that's a film called Money Monster. Jodie Foster's directing and I'm very excited.

"I'll be opposite George Clooney in that, Julia Roberts is in there as well, so I'll be in good company."

O'Connell has already picked up a few awards, including Breakthrough Performance for Unbroken at the 2015 National Board of Review Awards Gala in New York earlier this week.

But he feels very proud to be shortlisted for the EE Rising Star.

He said: "I've done a whole lot of this malarkey in foreign lands, so now I'm on home soil I feel quite sentimental about this one. It would certainly mean a lot if it came my way. It means a lot that I've been nominated."

Also in the running for the Rising Star Award are Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who starred in last year's period drama Belle as a mixed-race aristocrat, and Margot Robbie, who first found fame playing Donna Freedman in TV soap Neighbours and has gone on to appear in The Wolf Of Wall Street.

They join Miles Teller, who has recently appeared in Whiplash, and his Divergent co-star Shailene Woodley, who has also appeared in The Descendants, on the nominations list.

The nominees for the Rising Star Award - which recognises screen talents tipped for bright futures - were chosen by a panel which included actress Alice Eve, director Dexter Fletcher and casting director Nina Gold. It will now be put to a public vote with the winner announced at the Baftas on Sunday February 8.

The public can now vote at ee.co.uk/bafta.

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