Peaky Blinders actor from Cuckney lands role in new Spielberg wartime miniseries

Actor Jack Parr has starred in Silent Witness, Emmerdale, and Peaky Blinders and is now set to guest star in Apple TV’s upcoming wartime miniseries.

By Phoebe Cox
Monday, 1st August 2022, 4:34 pm

The 27-year-old, from Norton, near Cuckney, is a former pupil of Cuckney Primary School and Warsop’s Meden School, as well as Mansfield’s West Nottinghamshire College, where he studied for a BTEC in sport and exercise science.

But it was the filming of a wartime drama near his home which kickstarted his love of acting.

Jack says: “The summer before I moved to university, a movie called A Testament of Youth was filmed next to my village.

Jack (right) rehearsing with Jake Henderson on the set of The Modern Way.

”They used our village hall as a headquarters.

“The carrot fields I used to play in as a kid were transformed into a World War Two battlefield.“My friends and I asked to be extras.

”Every day on set I couldn’t believe my eyes – I was transported into the past.”

However, it was at Leeds – where he had gone to study sport and exercise science – where acting took over.

Jack and co-star Emile John (Ethan Anderson) on the set of Emmerdale.

Jack says: “I didn’t complete the university course as acting took over and I realised the course wasn’t for me.

“I never attended any drama schools as such – the acting degree was three years so I would have had to fund the third year myself.

“I couldn’t afford it, so I decided to pack in the sports degree and work on my acting career.”

He signed up for websites, worked on a showreel, and got an agent.

Behind the Scenes on Wolves of War with the cast. From left to right - Jack Parr, Jackson Bews, Matt Willis (from Busted), Sam Gittins (also in Masters of the Air) and Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl).

Soon after, Jack landed a role in hit TV show Peaky Blinders, as Dougie Bill.

Jack says: "Peaky Blinders was a dream.

“Although it was such a small role, I hope to grow with the show.

”The saying is in the show if you don’t get killed off and you are part of the family then you will be back.

“My character is a cousin of one of the Peakys and they are planning to do a movie in 2023 – even though I have not heard anything yet, I hope to return.”

“Being on that set and being so close to some greats like Stephen Graham and Cillian Murphy was a bit crazy.

“These are guys I have watched for years and adored, and the next minute we are on set talking to each other.”

Jack has since landed a five-episode arc in Emmerdale.

He says the role came with hefty dialogue, but it was a great opportunity to sink his teeth into acting.

Jack says: “Starring in Emmerdale was the first time my face had ended up on the cover of multiple press articles, such as The Sun, Metro and Radio Times – I could not believe what I was seeing.”

And his latest project is The Modern Way, a film which has just been released on streaming services and his first lead role in a feature film.

Jack says: “I played an antagonist called Mason who is the leader of the skinhead gang.

”I pretty much begged for an audition. I went all out.

“I love going far with characters, so when I got the part, I couldn’t wait to shave my head.

“I wanted to completely transform myself.”

Jack has been open about his experiences of exploitation in the industry, speaking out his ordeal with a photographer who had pressured him into taking explicit photos for his acting portfolio.

He has since written and starred in a short film, Tog – industry slang for a photographer – which tells the story of a young aspiring model who goes through the same experience.

Jack says: “It is very common. I wanted to write and tell the story.

“This experience happened to me when I didn’t have an agent and I was looking for portfolio shots.

“I signed up to a modelling website which wasn’t properly regulated. There was a lot of nudity on the site and a lot of photographers that are looking for explicit content.

“If you go on sites like this to start modelling, I would just be very careful.”

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As a writer, Jack feels drawn to gritty-northern dramas and finds crime and thrillers fun to write – and is similarly drawn to such roles as an actor.

He says: “I feel like although the north is growing in TV and film, I also have something to offer.

“My writing has been compared to Shane Meadows who wrote This Is England.

“I do like to gravitate towards the grittier side of characters.

”If they have some meat to chew on, I am really interested, but I am not in a position to pick and choose roles.”

He admits he would like to try his hand at directing and be behind the camera for once.

And as for the future?

“I have a movie on Sky Cinema called One Shot which is a fun Navy Seal action movie,” he says.

“I also have a movie called Wolves of War which is a World War Two film starring Ed Westwick from Gossip Girl.

“My biggest project coming out at the end of the year is an episode in Apple TVs Masters of the Air, which is produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.

“This is an epic World War Two fighter pilot show where I play a real fighter pilot called Sergeant James Mack.“This was a huge deal – to wake up and say, ‘I’m working on a Spielberg and Hanks show’ is mental.”

Jack can be followed on Instagram @jackwparr and Twitter @ParrJack where he shares updates about his work.