The handsome young actor explains how he’s happy to be a hunk... for now.
There are worse things in life than being called a “hot British hunk”. It’s the tag that American pundits have pinned on Oliver Jackson-Cohen following his appearances in a pair of rom-coms, Going The Distance and What’s Your Number, and the Dwayne Johnson action vehicle Faster. “Everyone gets put into a box to a certain extent,” shrugs the 25-year-old Londoner – the son of fashion designer Betty Jackson, though he doesn’t want to make a song and dance about it. “You have to prove yourself at the beginning of your career, and it’s going to take me a while to do that. If that’s how they want to cast me, cast away…”
And that’s what they’re doing. Jackson-Cohen will soon be seen as an inquisitive Baltimore cop in The Raven, a broody thriller from V For Vendetta director James McTeigue that fictionalises the last five days in the life of Edgar Allen Poe. And he’s just returned from six months in Budapest, where he filmed a starring role as “a complete and utter bastard” in the big-budget medieval miniseries World Without End.
Jackson-Cohen caught the acting bug early, although he buries the notion that he was inspired on the set of Absolutely Fabulous – his mum concocted Patsy Stone’s de trop look. “I announced it to my parents when I was six years old and I just made sure that I was not good at anything else.” With those handsome features, Jackson-Cohen could undoubtedly be landing some lucrative modelling gigs too but, although he’s had offers, he’s determined not to go down that road. “I’ve stuck by that rule, stupidly sometimes, because I just feel that’s not me,” he says, adding with a throaty laugh, “cut to my face on some massive billboard!”