Interview with Jim Sturgess

(c) Jessie Craig for SID Magazine

(c) Jessie Craig for SID Magazine

Original interview by Paul Craig for SID Magazine issue 6 (SS2014)

Casually dressed and sporting some wayward facial hair, British actor and indie heartthrob, Jim Sturgess appears relaxed and switched on when we meet near his home in Camden.

With no less than four films scheduled to open this year, spanning the full range of genres, what is it you look for in a new script?

I look for interesting people to work with or a new experience…an opportunity to play a certain character or to work with a certain director…It’s always an exciting period after you finished a film and you have nothing planned and you just start reading. You have no pre-plan of what’s going to grab your attention. You just kind of dive in and see what happens.

You appear alongside Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine and David Thewlis in the upcoming film Eliza Graves. What was it like working with such iconic actors?

It was incredible, man. Working with Sir Ben Kingsley, and Sir Michael Caine, it was one of those situations where you’re stuck in a Sir-Sandwich. (Laughs)

But actually, it was incredible to spend time with David Thewlis. It was his performance in a film called, Naked by Mike Leigh that made me want to become an actor. Before that it was only music that interested me, but David was as cool as any record I’d heard. He was like a rockstar, so it was mind-blowing to be in a film with him.

Music seems to be a big part of your life, would you ever return to it? 

Y’know, I’ve never left. I still write and record music. Most of my friends are in the music world, so it’s always very present in my life. I’ve made about three albums worth of music that I just haven’t quite finished because it’s hard to get all the necessary people in the right place at the right time.

You’ve had the opportunity to work around the world. Where has been the most memorable?

Going to New York for the first time for Across the Universe was a very special experience for me. It was my first big picture. Before that I’d only done a bit of television here and there. It came at a time when I was really hungry for something to happen in my life…I lived in a bubble. I left everything behind in London and stayed there for a long time after we finished filming.

You recently made a film in London, how was it working somewhere you know so well.

Yes, London Fields…I love finding stories that come out of London. It was really cool being in the city and working with an American director and American actors and seeing London through their eyes. It was almost like a vacation in my own city. We filmed in locations I hadn’t been to in years…it was a really cool experience.

Why is London so special?

Y’know, it’s from travelling around a lot that you start to get grasp on how incredible London is. I used to be obsessed with New York and London was just a place I thought I knew so well. Until one day I realised, New York doesn’t have Brixton Market…or Brick Lane. It’s the parks and the pubs - you can’t get them anywhere else but in London…a park and a pub, and a scotch egg!  You can’t get one of those in New York either. (Laughs).