Stars of Jackdaw and its director spoke with the Echo at the film’s premiere at Teesside Park this evening (January 24).

As the director and cast graced the Showcase Cinema de Lux at Teesside Park in preparation for the first screening of Jackdaw, the Echo caught up with them to discuss their role in the film and the North East.

Director Jamie Childs and stars such as Jenna Coleman, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Tommy Turgoose, and Middlesbrough-born actress Rochelle Goldie attended the premiere and spoke with our reporter about the process of making the film and their experience in Hartlepool.

Jamie Childs

The Northern Echo:

Childs, who is originally from Shotton Colliery and grew up around Hartlepool, told the Echo his experiences growing up in the North East helped aid the making of Jackdaw.

He said: “[It’s been] amazing, I actually live in the region. Although I’ve gone away for work, I actually have a house in Hartlepool, my granddad lives in Wheatley Hill, I’ve been around here my whole life.

“What was amazing though was to bring a film back here, and for it to be the first feature, it always like that’s what I wanted to do.

“Especially with the first film, it feels like something personal. I had different projects floating around, and I had to try and choose what it was that interested me to make a first one, and it felt like I needed some connection to it.

“Although the story is not necessarily really personal to me, it’s based off anecdotes and stuff I know that are all North East-based ones, and some of the locations over here, I just always knew needed to be filmed and haven’t really been.

“It’s such an untapped landscape, you need to use this for something. I felt like I wanted to kick it off up here at least.”

Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Jenna Coleman

The Northern Echo:

Speaking to the Echo’s reporter, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Jenna Coleman spoke about the movie’s personal links to the director, and their experience filming.

Jackson Cohen said: “It was amazing, we got to go to some very exciting locations, places I’d never been to or seen before.

“He’d [Jamie] written a story that was the story he wanted to tell and was very confident in that, and so I think this really gave everyone the freedom to put [down] their stamp and bring whatever it is that they wanted to bring to the table.

“I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but it’s been so incredible to be part of being able to help facilitate something that has meant so much to him.

“Even this cinema, it’s where he went to see Jurassic Park when he was a kid, it’s always nice to be a part of something like that.

“It’s great. With films, I feel like a lot of the time they get taken away from where they’re made and shown somewhere else. I’m just so glad we get to do this here and not somewhere else.”

Coleman said: “Jamie shot in his granddad’s house as well, used one of his granddad’s songs, it’s very much like a homecoming film.

“I think the set was just so incredible. I really liked our scene in their first meeting in the rain. To try and film us in live rain [was incredible].”

Thomas Turgoose

The Northern Echo: Thomas Turgoose

The This Is England star said working with Childs has been a “real treat” having never collaborated with him before, and added that he believed their similar upbringings helped the two gel.

He added that working with both the cast and crew were “wicked” to be around and joked how the worst part about filming was the freezing temperatures.

He said: “[It was] cold, it was really cold. It was night shoots in January freezing my bollocks off, but it was alright.

“There was at one point, I remember being on the back of a motorbike at 3am on one of the roads doing 40mph, it was like the scene from Dumb and Dumber, when they get off and their stuck together. That’s what it was like.

“The more North you get, the nicer the people are, and I think the people really do make a difference to where you are. It’s just a testament to the locals really.”

Rochelle Goldie

The Northern Echo:

Rochelle Goldie, who plays a biker in the film, told the Echo she believes the film proves that the North East has a lot to offer the industry, and added she hopes to inspire those from across Teesside.

She said: “I actually didn’t know anyone going into it, and I’m glad I didn’t because it would have made me really, really nervous.

“The only time I realised these people were quite up there is when people started telling me they’ve done this, they’ve done that. I’m glad I didn’t read too much into it or I would have been really nervous.

“Ollie is hilarious, he surprised me by how funny he was.

“It’s extra special that it’s in the North East. It’s such a big movie, it’s so cinematic, it really goes to show not everything has to be in the South, you can do it here. I just hope people love it.

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“You can do anything and don’t let it stop you just because you’re from Teesside. People think you can’t do these things, you can’t do things on this scale because of where we’re from. We can.”

Speaking on the challenges of filming, she said the weather had been so cold while shooting that she resorted to putting heating pads into her shoes.

“It’s just so excruciatingly cold, but that’s when you have to dig deep, find the positivity. We’re filming, we’re on set in the North East, you just have to take it on the chin.”