The June 1st edition of The Sunday Times has a new feature on Jamie Bell, where the young actor reflects on life growing up, life in Manhattan, and the pressures of Hollywood. While the article only briefly mentions his acting work and mentions the upcoming Defiance, the piece mostly centers on where the Hallam Foe actor is now, enjoying life here in the Big Apple as he notes “I like it here,” he says. “I like the size of the place – the tall buildings, the bustle, the nonstop, 24-hour-a-day activity. I won’t be here for ever, but it suits me at the moment. I can fly across to Los Angeles for meetings, if I need to be there. And it’s only a seven-hour flight back home to England.
There are mentions of his personal life and dating, as well as the impact of the passing of Heath Ledger had on him earlier this year. Jamie reflects " “I never even met Heath but I can appreciate the pressure he was under,” Bell says. “There is a feeling that, however supportive your family is, you are very much on your own. Was there anyone there to help him in his hour of need? They also hand out prescription drugs in America like packs of Smarties.”
On a lighter note, JB brings up the topic I know I can relate too: NOT driving in Manhattan. I could not agree more-drove there once and that completely scared the crap out of me-taxis and subways only ever since! (plus the subways are always so full of errm unique individuals, every time is an adventure in new species of life lol) Quotage:
“I walk everywhere,” he says. “Or I take the subway.
“Driving will be useful, though, when I’m in Los Angeles. There’s no public transport and the city is spread out over miles. I am looking forward to driving – in something open-topped – along the coast highway near Malibu.” It is all a long haul from his home in the northeast of England, where Eileen, his mother – a single parent after his father walked out when he was a baby – could not afford a car to take him to dance lessons. But it’s clear he’s not letting either his success or his bank balance go to his head.
“My biggest fear was that I would not be able to take the step from a child actor to an adult,” he reflects. “I think it happened when I was able to play a soldier in Deathwatch, set in the trenches of the first world war. The film didn’t quite work out – it was a very good movie, almost – but I think that got me up and running as a grown-up actor.”
Roles followed in big-budget Hollywood movies such as King Kong and Flags of Our Fathers, directed by Clint Eastwood. Most recently, he appeared in Jumper, a sci-fi fantasy film that reached No 1 at the American and British box office earlier this year.
“I have grown in confidence,” he reports. “And I do like to think I know the difference between confidence and arrogance.
“At the very start, after Billy Elliot, I did wonder, ‘Is this what I really want to do?’ But I could not think of anything else I would rather do. So I began, taking one acting job at a time. There’s no other way to play it, really. There is no career structure in this business.”