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Interview: Jamie Blackley

18th September 2013

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Jamie Blackley (The Borgias, Misfits) plays central character Mark in uwantme2killhim?, a dark true story about how the emergence of the internet affected a generation of teenagers. Here he talks about the film...  

Did you actively pursue uwantme2killhim? as soon as you knew there was a chance of being cast?

It is very rare that you read something and have that kind of reaction, and just imagining that I would be in it was incredible. It was just one of those jobs that gave me a jump out of the seat moment. It was the longest shoot I've ever done, the toughest shoot I've ever done. I have a lot of dialogue and I came out of it thinking that I had achieved something and learned a lot. It was just really great!

How much had you known about the real story?

I knew nothing of the real story when I first read the script. But when I got the part I was sent the Vanity Fair article. I read through that and it was amazing just to compare the two – the script and the article. What really happened is even more unbelievable and shocking than what is in the film. So that was incredibly interesting. But in terms of what I took from that I don't really know because we can only take things from ourselves and the script, make sense of it and make it believable.

How hard was it to step back a few years to portray a schoolboy?

It was kind of difficult. I was about 19 or 20 when we made the film. So it was a bit weird to think of how it was when I had been back at school. I thought, my goodness it was that long ago. I had to think about how when I was at school I'd have reacted differently to things. Toby and I went back to school for a day and that was really helpful. They are big on drama there so we attended a class with the kids. We became friendly with the kids and chatted with them. It was surprisingly simple once the kids, who gave up their half term, came in.

It must be intriguing to consider that some day the two real boys will see the film?

I have thought about that a lot. I'm sure it is a part of their lives that they will not want to remember in a hurry. I hope that the film does not affect them in any way. I do feel for both boys. As it says in the film, each boy is a victim of the other. That is completely the case.

The film is a telling indictment of the Internet?

There are people out there who know how to use the Internet a lot better than anyone else. They can exploit it. There is never going to be a day when that is not going to happen. It can be a dangerous thing. You just have to know about that. I'm not a hi-tech wizard. I use the Internet for YouTube and Crystal Palace. That's about as far as it gets.

You have had a busy time; what's the year ahead looking like?

I haven't got anything on at the moment. I want to be careful what I do. I don't want to do anything just for the sake of doing it. I want to be in this for a long time.

What role gives you the greatest sense of pride?

It has got to be uwantme2killhim? This was the first moment in my life where I got to explore and learn a lot. I was there pretty much every day of the six week shoot. I got collected at 5.30am and went home at 8.30pm to eat and sleep. I lived it for that long. When I look back I see that as a turning point and felt that maybe I was going to do all right.

uwantme2killhim? is out now on DVD - buy it here.

Read our review of the film.

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