Jack Brett Anderson is a star on the rise. He talks to tmrw about his latest acting role, working with Wolf Alice and his “Beyoncé moment” as a model at Milan Fashion Week
Despite his jet set lifestyle, travelling to Milan and off filming in Budapest, Jack Brett Anderson is still a London boy. “I could be a black cab driver,” he jokes. “I grew up in the East End. Culturally it was very enriching, as you’re exposed to so many different people.”
His latest role in Genius: Picasso wouldn’t be too out of place on the streets of Peckham. Géry Pieret is something of a Del Boy. “He’s a wheeler dealer” says jack, “He’s a young charming kind of guy with a strong facade.” Pieret makes a living from scamming people and came into Picasso’s story when he stole Iberian statues from the Louvre and tried to sell them to a young Pablo.
Jack says he loved playing the “cheeky chappy” who constantly manages to get himself into sticky situations — later in the show Pieret hosts a huge ball only to rob all the guests. For Anderson his character brings a little bit of chaos to the show, “He stole from the Louvre and dodged the law.”
The show was filmed on location in Budapest, “It felt like going in a time machine,” exclaims Jack. However, he was on a tight schedule as Dolce & Gabbana were waiting for him at Milan Fashion Week.
“It makes me laugh,” says Jack, “I’m surprised Dolce wanted me because I’m so small.” In December Dolce & Gabbana approached Anderson to be part of their millennials series. “It was very overwhelming for me as I never saw it coming. It was a whirlwind experience.” The chance for Jack to strut his stuff, show his personality and really interact with the audience was his “little Beyoncé moment” up on stage. “I just wondered where the fans were, I didn’t start singing though because I didn’t want to empty the runway.”
Despite being cheery and chatty, Jack says he does have a serious side. “I know what I want, I know what works and what doesn’t. If anything compromises those things I’m no longer easy going.”
Jack’s attitude is only a reflection of his ambition and without this more serious side he could have never made it in such a tough industry. “I didn’t go to drama school so having a career as an actor felt like a bit of a myth to me – I didn’t think it was going to materialise but I think there was a change in the industry where you didn’t need an equity card to work.” He got his first role at the age of 16, as Edward II in a London theatre, “it’s quite empowering playing a young prince who develops into a king.” From there he was picked up by a manager in the US and his acting dream became a career.
Jack is perhaps better known amongst young teens as Mateio from Wolfblood. Anderson describes it as “one of the best things I’ve ever done.” Although it was a CBBC show it didn’t shy away from tackling tough topics like fear, isolation and alienation. His depiction of the supernatural werewolf has earned him scores of adoring young fans. “He is a dark moody character that oozes pure strength but I wanted to show an emotional side to him. There is strength in crying,” says Jack.
The idea of a horror fantasy show for the younger generation really appealed to Jack. “You have to experience a little bit of fear when you’re a kid,” he says, “my step brother used to put on Freddy Kruger when I was younger and I remember that feeling of fear.” Although Wolfblood received recognition with a BAFTA Jack believes the show could have gone on to something bigger.
More recently Jack’s been involved with another wolf — Wolf Alice where he starred in their music video for ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’. The music video shows a love story on the tube and shows a much more enjoyable experience than the average London commute.“That was the best train journey of my life,” says Jack, “I don’t think I’ve had that kind of experience with an actual girlfriend to be honest. Are people like that? Do they kiss on the tube when they’re not drunk? It’s something I’d want.” So is there a chance Jack and co-star Chelsea could be something more? “I have a lot of time for Chelsea, if she had time for me,” he jokes. “We’re just friends, we’re cool.”
Despite being in their music video he had never heard Wolf Alice before. “I’m a massive fan of Wolf Alice now,” says Jack, “but I never got to meet them – I’d love to say thanks for having me in their song.”
With experience across most aspects of the showbiz industry already at the age of 26 you can be confident that you’ll be seeing more of Jack Brett Anderson. But which of his acting, modelling and theatre career paths does he enjoy more? “You know, I have an appreciation for them all so as long as I keep working in them I’m happy.”
*** Words by Sam Forsdick ***
Join our club.
Words by HQ