Class of 2017: Most likely to... take home an Oscar
In a series of exclusive interviews, we introduce the bright young things set to take the world by storm this year...
Most young actors struggle for years before they get anywhere near a film set. Not Glasgow actor/musician Christy O’Donnell, whose debut movie recently won Best Feature Film at an LA film festival.
How did you become an actor?
Watching movies as a child gave me an indescribable feeling, and I wanted to do the same for others. I didn't get the grades to go to drama school so I studied films. Watching my favourite actors on screen was my training.
What was your big break?
I wanted to do more acting so I signed with a London agent and got the script for Moon Dogs. It’s the coming-of-age story of two stepbrothers who run away from Shetland to Glasgow in search of self-discovery. They meet a rebellious girl who joins them, but when both boys develop feelings for her it all starts to unravel. I connected very strongly with my character Thor, and happily, was cast.
I didn’t get the grades to go to drama school – watching my favourite actors on screen was my training
You’ve been hard at work promoting the movie – any stand out moments?
The American premier was at the Newport Beach Film Festival in LA where we won the Jury Award for Best Feature Film, and Jack Parry-Jones (who plays Michael) won the Jury Award for Best Actor.
Irvine Welsh said “not one, not two, but three stars are born in this beautiful movie". How did that feel?
Positive reaction from anyone is great, but from such an acclaimed writer, it was certainly a highlight. I had the privilege of meeting him at the Edinburgh International Film Festival closing ceremony and he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy.
What will we see you in next?
I've been filming a TV show in Paris for the Disney Channel called Find Me In Paris. I’m also going to be playing a British soldier serving in Afghanistan in James Kermacks' Knuckledust, about an underground fight club. I'm excited to get army fit for that one.
Advice for other aspiring actors?
When you see your peers doing well, it’s easy to think you’ll never get there, but it's down to hard work and perseverance. Focus, believe in yourself, work hard and it will happen.
What did your school yearbook entry say about you?
I wasn’t actually in it because I was kicked out! School was never really my cup of tea.
Moon Dogs is in cinemas now, moondogsmovie.com