With the second series of Breeders set for an upcoming release in the UK, Jordan Nash will be seen as Jacob, with the role marking his first experience in a comedy series. Last year, Jordan played Peter Littleton in the feature film Come Away, where he worked alongside Keira Chansa and Angelina Jolie, as well as appearing in an episode of Call the Midwife and starring in short horror film The Chippie, which is available on YouTube. Amongst his previous screen work, Jordan played Jacob Wells North across all three series of Harlots, played Omar in live-action Disney film Aladdin and he played Young Michael in the TV Movie documentary Michael Jackson: Man in the Mirror. Jordan has radio experience for BBC Radio 4, which saw him win Best Debut Performance at the BBC Radio Drama Awards for his role in Oliver: Lagos to London, and he has performed on stage as Oliver Twist at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in 2017. Speaking with us, Jordan tells us about playing Jacob in Breeders, filming Come Away as Peter Littleton and portraying Young Michael in the Michael Jackson: Man in the Mirror documentary.
We understand you’re appearing in the second series of Breeders as Jacob, how was it finding out you’d booked the role and what was the series like to work on?
Can I firstly say, thank you for having me and also massive thanks to all your readers of the magazine – I hope everyone is feeling smoked SALMON. I didn’t actually think I would be involved in any TV or film work at the time I was offered the part in Breeders as we were in the lockdown so it was a massive surprise. I was curious about how we would actually shoot with all the restrictions. It was a bit weird at first – I didn’t meet or, shall I say, couldn’t identify anyone because we were all wearing face masks and even full PPE in the crew, you just walked around eyeballing people and trying to communicate you were happy or sad through your eyes and eyebrows. I think I’ve learned a new skill! Once we got going, it was clear that they were very organised and I had a lot of fun with my character who is hilarious.
This was my first experience in a comedy and my castmates Martin Freeman, Daisy Haggard and Alex Eastwood were proper funny and seemed to know what they were doing so I felt comfortable we laughed a lot, I could even hear director Ollie Parsons laughing his brains out during the takes!!
Is there anything you can say about your character?
As I said, I had a lot of fun with my character, he is young but has the character of a person twice his age. Ironically, people say that about me in real life – that I’m older than my years, so it felt very relatable to play him.
Last year, you appeared in the release of Come Away as Peter Littleton, what was it like filming the role?
Well, I’d have to say it was my favourite part I’ve played so far in my experience. Only because I got to do so many stunts and sword fighting, that was smoked SALMON!
How was it seeing the script for the first time and was there anything that drew you to the film?
The first thing that stood out was the fact that Peter had a sister who happened to be Alice of Alice in Wonderland – like, what a strange twist to the plot! But that made it even more interesting and exciting. I was always trying to imagine how it would all look like in the cinema on a big screen but sadly, as we all know, COVID stopped that from happening.
Being the first black boy to play Peter Pan in a major movie was also a proud thing to know, although I didn’t really remember that until the media and interviews before the release reminded me.
What was it like working alongside the rest of the cast and what do you feel you learnt from your time on set?
There were obviously a lot of big names among the cast and, to be honest, I didn’t know who any of them were because I don’t really watch much TV or film, but my parents always know and fill me in with the details. I just remember that it was a very professional environment and watching any actor perform can be helpful no matter who they are or their age, every person has a skill or choice of their own that I either learn from or chuck in the bin! No offence!!
Do you have any favourite memories from your time filming?
My favourite memories while filming other than the fighting was really off set, hanging out with castmates Reece (Yates) and Keira (Chansa) at our hotel. Angie (Jolie) and her family – Knox, Vivienne and Shiloh were super cool to hang out with and they have a really awesome house!
Can you say about the short film The Chippie which you star in?
Well, I don’t want to spoil the fun for anybody that hasn’t watched it yet, but it is a short horror film and I play the lead character, his name is Junior alongside David Schaal from The Inbetweeners movies, it’s actually available now on YouTube – it’s a short so, I’ll keep it short and leave it there with this one!
How was your time playing Jacob Wells North in Harlots and what did you enjoy most about this role?
So, obviously I’m a young performer – I’m thirteen, but Harlots was a series I filmed in my baby years. I don’t remember much, but I learned a lot in the two or three series I spent with the cast and crew… and yes, there was, again, a lot of big name actors I worked with, like Liv Tyler and Samantha Morton, who played my mum. It’s a very adult show and I still haven’t watched any of it! The costume is pretty smoked SALMON!
You played Omar in Aladdin, how was it working on the Disney film?
Yes, that was probably the biggest film set I’ve ever worked on! Disney go hard! Everything was huge, it felt like the craft services was a mile long! Before you ask, I didn’t know who Will Smith was before filming on Aladdin, on the first day we met, my mum was ecstatic because he complimented her shoes, I think my mum rates him. Aladdin was probably my biggest disappointment so far because there were so many cuts on the final edit. I filmed scenes on the flying carpet with Taliyah Blair, who played my sister Lian, but it was CUT!
How did it feel being nominated for Best Supporting Young Actor in a Feature Film at the Young Entertainer Awards?
It was a surprise to know I’d been nominated, it was the first time I’d received a nomination for anything in film and TV. I have to say I was excited, but disappointed at the same time because, again, the world was in lockdown and so the organisers couldn’t do a normal ceremony. We had to attend virtually via Zoom. It was a pretty smoked salmon experience, all the nominees, about fifty of us, sat in a virtual green room and talked for six hours! We were from different countries so it was weird but super exciting. I didn’t win that night, but didn’t deserve to win anyway – with a performance of three or four lines in Aladdin.
What was it like filming an episode of Call the Midwife and can you say about your character Terry Bowland?
Again, don’t really want to spoil things for those that haven’t watched it but it was a very cool experience. It was pretty tough to play because the character has some massive lows and highs which, if you watch, you’ll understand the challenges I had.
How did you find the experience playing Young Michael in the TV Movie documentary Michael Jackson: Man in the Mirror?
That was epic, I’m a dancer, as you may know (by the way, check out some of my own dance choreography on my YouTube channel Jordan A Nash). I was probably the most excited I’ve ever been to do a project. Just before I received the offer, I remember I was rehearsing with the cast of Motown in the West End as Young Michael and then my agent told me I’d landed the role to play Michael Jackson on TV! I didn’t ever get to do the Motown show but doing the TV Movie was sick. The Afro wigs were a little off though!
Do you have any favourite TV shows or films to watch?
As I said before, I don’t really watch much TV or film, however I really love Home Alone, it’s a classic and apparently they’re doing a remake, I didn’t get a call to be involved… Sad face!!
You’ve worked in radio for Oil on Water and Oliver: Lagos to London, both for BBC Radio 4, what were these like to do and how was it winning Best Debut Performance at this year’s BBC Audio Drama Awards for Oliver: Lagos to London?
Working on radio is so different to screen or stage because I feel like you literally are acting and working hard for the audience to believe you because they can’t see you, but I still find it enjoyable. Winning the award was epic, especially when I was told that I had become the youngest person to receive a BBC award in their history! Again, it was a virtual ceremony, no red carpet and I still haven’t received the trophy yet – I think it’s lost in the post!
In 2017, you played Oliver Twist at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, can you say more about this?
Haha! So that was the first time I played the character of Oliver. It was an amazing twist to the original Charles Dickens most people remember, this one, however, is set in the modern day. The playwright Anya Reiss has a quirky imagination, there were strange costumes and even a suicide! It was an amazing project to work on and performing in the legendary Open Air Theatre to 1000 people was seriously crazy. Anya has now taken her writing skills to screen on a new period drama which is currently filming here in the UK called Becoming Elizabeth and guess what… I have a guest appearance in it!!
Had you always wanted to be an actor and how did you start?
I wouldn’t say that I’ve always wanted to be an actor – I started when I was five years old, you’ll have to check in with my parents on that front. As my memory has it, I was going to play group sessions and the next thing I know I’m in a movie with Jude Law and Emilia Clark! Since I’m in it though, I wouldn’t want to ever stop. Plus, the pocket money is pretty decent!
Away from acting, you also enjoy singing and dancing, can you tell us about it?
Well, yes, I mentioned earlier that I am a dancer – shout out to Toshaan Williams the person that built me as a dancer! I do experiment with music and write and produce songs when I have the time. I post my work on YouTube, so let’s see how it goes, if the feedback is positive then I’ll write and produce more often otherwise it’s a way for me to keep busy when I’m not involved as an actor. For anyone that’s interested in following me on this journey we call life, I do post a bit, follow me on Instagram.
Thanks again, TresA Magazine for having me.
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