Belfast Telegraph

A star is born... Call The Midwife role for young Northern Ireland actor Jesse Magee (12)

By Ivan Little

A young Portadown actor is hoping that popular TV series Call The Midwife can help deliver him into the big time.

Jesse Magee, who has had a small role in Game Of Thrones, is to play a more prominent part in the BBC series.

The 12-year-old, a footballer with one of Loughgall FC's youth teams, has been sworn to secrecy over his storyline in tomorrow night's episode of the popular show.

The TV listings offer a clue, saying he is playing the son of a couple from Northern Ireland who have moved to England.

Former Hollyoaks star Gerard McCarthy plays his father, who is killed in a car crash.

Jesse, a pupil at Killicomaine Junior High School in Portadown, has his real-life father Jonny to thank for his entry into the acting world.

For the self-employed joiner has been an extra on Game Of Thrones, and recommended his then seven-year-old boy to casting directors.

Jesse's first work as a background artist came in the Tom Hiddleston/Sienna Miller movie High-Rise, which was shot in Bangor.

He was in the Lost City Of Z, which was also filmed here.

He then got the part of Leo in Game Of Thrones, one of the 'Little Birds' gang of spies who work for Varys, played by Ballycastle actor Conleth Hill. Jesse said working on Game Of Thrones was "absolutely amazing".

He added: "It really was like going to another world. The costumes were the best I have ever seen and my own one was so cool.

"Although I am too young to watch the show I know enough about it and have seen a few scenes that my mum and dad carefully selected for me to watch."

A part as a street urchin in The Frankenstein Chronicles followed, and also last year he successfully auditioned in a Yorkshire accent for a role in the BBC drama The Woman In White, which is due to air this year.

Jesse, who has a 14-year-old sister Lily and a six-year-old brother Maxy, spent three weeks in London filming for Call The Midwife.

He added: "I loved getting flown over to London, staying in fancy hotels and chauffeured about in cool cars.

"I also really enjoyed having lines to learn and getting to act in lots of scenes with the main cast. They made me feel like a real actor and I learned a lot."

Jonny said: "It was a great experience for him.

"The only thing he didn't enjoy was having a tutor to keep his schoolwork up to date."

The entire Magee family are registered with Extras NI and Jesse's mother Zoe played a prison officer in The Secret, the TV series about killer dentist Colin Howell and his murderess lover Hazel Stewart.

Jesse was a student at Jacqui Keegan's School of Speech and Drama in Portadown for several years but dropped out to play football for Loughgall's youth teams in the Mid-Ulster League. But now he hopes to become a full-time actor.

"I really would love to be a regular cast member in a series like Stranger Things or in a big budget movie," he said.

"I am really inspired by the young actor Finn Wolfhard who is famous for Stranger Things and the movie It.

"That would be a dream come true."

The Manchester United fan is realising another dream soon.

He said: "I'm going to Old Trafford in April for the first time. I can't wait."

Belfast Telegraph


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