Jack Reynor: "There are two parts to my life - You have to be very black and white"

It’s a long way from the hills of Wicklow to the heights of Hollywood, and Jack Reynor has made the trip in just two short years. Megastardom awaits, but the Transformers star is keeping his feet firmly on the ground

Fri, Jul 11, 2014, 01:04

Two years is a long time in showbusiness. Just ask Jack Reynor.

The last time I caught up with the star of Lenny Abrahamson’s What Richard Did, he had lately departed for Los Angeles and was suitably thrilled with himself, having landed a few meetings and having just made the acquaintance of Elementary star Lucy Lui.

Flash-forward to 2014 and the same young fellow has worked with Mark Walhberg. And Vince Vaughn. And Toni Colette. And Michael Fassbender. And Marion Coutillard. And Stanley Tucci.

And, well, you get the picture.

Suffice to say, at 22, Reynor’s no longer the star-struck kid he once was.

“When I meet someone who I really admire, I enjoy nothing more than trying to connect with them and asking them about their career,” he says. “I want to know who the people are behind the performances and how they relate to their performances. But it’s maybe not as novel as it once was. If I still got starstuck, I couldn’t do my job properly.”

He shakes his head with a little smile: “Four years ago, I had just finished my Leaving Cert. I remind myself of that almost every day.”

As reported exclusively by all media outlets, the young star has just touched down in Dublin, his 15th city in three weeks, for yet another international red-carpet premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Has he actually seen any of the places he has visited, I wonder?

“Oh yeah,” he says. “I make it my business to see or do something cultural in every place I go to. If you don’t, you’ll get into a state of constant despair.”

By now, the Belevedere College graduate is accustomed to moving around. Transformers 4 was shot between the US and China, touching down in Chicago, Michigan, Washington State, Chongquig and Hong Kong. For Reynor, the production represented two dislocated ribs and a sizable chunk of his 22 years.

“A five-and-a-half-month shoot plus two-and-a-half months prep,” he says. “It was a long time to be away.”

Transformers: Age of Extinction sees Reynor and co-star Mark Wahlberg form an alliance with Optimus Prime as one batch of enormous robots do battle with a rival batch of enormous robots. Explosions happen. Car chases happen. Cities are destroyed.

I can’t imagine it was a very dialogue-heavy screenplay. Or that it made a lick of sense before the SFX were added.

“Oh, when you read the script, it makes zero sense,” nods Reynor. “It’s totally technical. So what’s interesting about that is that the only prep you can do for the movie is get into the physical shape that’s required. You have to get yourself a little tanned. You get the teeth a little whitened. And from then on the only thing you can do is trust your director. And that’s essentially what Michael demands from everybody.”

Michael Bay has not always seen eye to eye with his actors. The megabucks megaphoner fired Megan Fox for comparing his onset behaviour to Hitler. Shia le Beouf squabbled with the same director on Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon for unplugging his iPad. Post-Armageddon (the 1998 film, not the end-times assembly described in the Book of Revelation) Bruce Willis stated that he would never work with Bay again.

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