Jamie Blackley Interview – If I Stay
Up-and-coming heartthrob Jamie Blackley, 22, stars alongside Chloe Grace Moretz, 17, in the romantic drama, If I Stay. Hailing from Isle of Man, Blackley attained mainstream success in the London stage production of Spring Awakening. Since then, Blackley has climbed the Hollywood ladder from indies to box office hits, his biggest role to date was as Ziggy in The Fifth Estate. Now playing the male lead in If I Stay, based on the best-selling novel, this tall, dark and handsome young actor is set to become a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.
In Los Angeles to promote the movie, he’s in a good mood and is unpretentious and charming. He’s wearing a dark shirt and jeans and looks casually elegant and a little edgy.
Q: So did you and Chloe bond while filming?
We had a great time; we had a really lovely time. Chloe is so easy to work with and we had fun.
Q: What can you tell me about your character and what resonated with you?
I play Adam who is a kid who plays in a band in school. He’s kind of a bit of a loner; he’s got his friends and his band but his parents are kind of away and they obviously go on this journey together. He meets Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz) and he starts worrying about her disappearing, like everyone else, and obviously all the other craziness happens along the way. The thing that resonated with me was that I was just playing someone who was kind of in a relationship, as opposed to someone who is kind of like a drifter who kind of likes some girl and then they hook up at some party, blah, blah, blah.
Q: What do you think it is about the story that young adults or teenagers would connect with?
And not just young people but I think older people as well can definitely to relate to a lot of things in it.
Q: Did you do any chemistry type screen tests with Chloe? You are both so good together and that’s why it’s so moving.
Yeah, we did one. And as far as my audition process, we did a chemistry read together which was good. I was really scared.
Q: Apparently one of the other guys in the audition just went for it with Chloe?
I don’t know why anyone would just go for it. Brave. (laughs) It was probably nerves as well for the guy who went for it, and I think he probably freaked out.
Q: What was your favorite scene or scenes to shoot? The movie is beautiful.
I loved all of the concert scenes. They were fun for me, they gave me a chance to rock out, be a rock star for a day and sweat it out for a bit. Yeah, the super opposite of who I am, from dork to rock star all in the one day.
Q: You play guitar?
Yeah, I have played since I was younger, not seriously, just something that I kind of have done most of my life.
Q: Are you good?
I’m alright but if someone brought a guitar and said, ‘Play.’ I would never do it in a million years. And I am up all night going, to myself, ‘Jamie, please don’t mess this up.’ (laughter) All night just practicing and it’s still okay but let’s move on. (laughter)
Q: Speaking of music, music plays an important role in this film wouldn’t you say?
Yeah, absolutely. And I think music is the start and the end of this movie, so it was important to kind of use that as a tool really for most of it.
Q: Had you been really familiar with the books prior to the film?
No. I had no idea about it. I had never heard of it in my life. I read it just before I found out I was testing just to give myself a heads up and make sure I was exactly in tune with what they were looking for I guess.
Q: You spoke about your most enjoyable scene. What was your most challenging scene and what was the most challenging material for you?
The hospital stuff was pretty tough. Just being in a hospital in general I think is just kind of tough. You think about things and just the scene at the end by the bed I guess when I am speaking to her, and trying to make that as plausible as possible and that was probably the toughest one for me.
Q: But when you do scenes that are intense or that are emotionally draining or challenging, what you do to decompress?
Go outside, have a deep breath.
Q: Can you tell me about that a little bit?
Yeah, there was a lot mentioned in the book about Converse and they wanted me to wear some different shoes and I was like, in the book, all they were speaking about was him wearing Converse. So for me it was just tight jeans, Converse, you can’t go wrong with that.
Q: And the jeans?
Yeah, maybe the jeans not as tight as the book. (laughter) These are girls jeans by the way. (laughter) These are little Top Shop girls jeans.
Q: That must be weird?
But they are so much more comfy than blokes jeans. (laughter) They are, because blokes jeans are a lot rougher, more denim, whereas these really stretch.
Q: Most guys wear the hard denim
I can’t do it, too heavy. Look (stretches the jeans) as free as a bird.
Q: Do your mates tease you? (laughter)
No. They do call me sparrow legs, my mates.
Q: And how about Stacy Keach? How was it working with him?
Oh my God, that scene at the end. That killed me. It’s when his voice breaks. He was such a nice man, he sent me a Christmas card, all the way to London. (laughter)
Q: How did he get your address?
I don’t know how he got my address.
Q: Why do you think he sent you a card?
I think it was because I had spent a couple of car journeys with him. And we would sit and we would chat and he was such a lovely, lovely man.
I can’t believe he sent me that. I still haven’t emailed him or anything. I know it’s terrible.
Q: He sent it to London and you couldn’t send back an email?
I don’t have his email address. StacyKeach at gmail.com. (laughs) I’d have to try every possible…
Q: You might have to do it the old school way and write him back.
Q: Return to Sender.
Yeah, I should do that.
Q: So was it all actually shot in Portland?
We were in Vancouver. Yeah, the whole time.
Q: Did you guys have fun playing with snow?
It was really kind of cold. I had heaters under my clothes and then you get warm.
Q: What did you learn about it life through doing this movie?
Do you know that if you dream about losing your teeth that it means that you are longing for love and affection? My mate had been seeing this girl and this girl was like, not kind of reciprocating the whole thing, and he keeps dreaming about losing his teeth.
Q: Thank you.