Jack Lowden Tees up 'Tommy's Honour' & Morrissey's Teens - Culture Trip
Meet the actor who’s hurtling into British movie stardom at warp speed, with starring roles in Tommy’s Honour, Dunkirk, and England Is Mine.
CT: You play Morrissey in England Is Mine. Were you a Smiths fan before you took the part?
JL: I listened to other music—I hadn’t listened to a lot of The Smiths. But, of course, when the script came along, I delved right into it, and I’ve not been able to stop listening to The Smiths and Morrissey since. Just like people are addicted to golf, people are addicted to Morrissey, and it was quite amazing to dive into that world. I’m obsessed with him now. We shot it in about five weeks on location, along the Kings Road [where Morrissey lived as a child in Stretford, Manchester], the Iron Bridge [Stretford; mentioned in The Smiths’ ‘Still Ill’], everywhere. It’s directed by a guy [Mark Gill], who grew up two or three streets from Morrissey, and there were people who worked on the film for free just because they’re obsessed with The Smiths.
CT: The film is about Morrissey before The Smiths, right?
JL: Yeah, it’s up until the day they [Morrissey and Johnny Marr] formed The Smiths. It’s not a period even diehard Smiths or Morrissey fans know an awful lot about, so we felt relaxed about that. On paper, it’s quite daunting to take on a guy like Morrissey, who’s still around, but the script was so beautiful. It’s just about this kid growing up in 1970s Manchester, seeing certain things about himself he doesn’t like or that he wants to improve, or seeing things in his surroundings that he thinks aren’t good enough. I related straight away to that feeling of wanting to do something different with your life.
CT: What was the key to finding Morrissey for you—to understanding who he was?
JL: In the script, there were a lot of situations he found himself in that I’ve found myself in. Sometimes you want a certain version of yourself to come across if you meet a certain person–if you meet a girl for the first time, or someone else you admire. Our Steven, as we refer to him in the story, is very much like that. He’s a typical teenager. It wasn’t that hard to get into the guy on the page, which took the weight off my shoulders a little bit. I guess it would have been a totally different experience if the film had been about The Smiths. That would have been harder to imagine than a film about a teenager growing up.
CT: Have you met Morrissey?
JL: No, I haven’t yet. I would love to, and I would absolutely love him to see the film. Obviously, it would be very hard for anyone to watch a film about themself—I appreciate that. I’ve only seen bits of it, but I really think it will be something special, whether diehard Smiths fans like it or not. You know, I don’t look anything like him…
CT: But you have Morrissey’s quiff when you play him?
JL: Oh, yeah.
CT: And there are references to his love of Oscar Wilde?
JL: Yeah. I read the books he read, and a lot of the music he liked and listened to it in the film. I think it’s a great testament to him.
UPDATE 5:45 PM PT:
Link posted by an anonymous person:
Jack Lowden - Interview Magazine
Lowden may soon have trouble going incognito to his own local pub after his star turn in the wildly anticipated Morrissey biopic, Steven, which is set to premiere later this year. To audition for the role of the legendary Smiths' frontman, he had to send a tape of himself talking in the character of a young Morrissey, which did the trick because he got a callback a few days later. "It's about his early life growing up with a strong mother and sisters," Lowden says. "I could relate to that. There are such strong women in my life that there's no chance of me getting too big for my boots."