Magazine article Variety

Jonjo O'NEILL

Magazine article Variety

Jonjo O'NEILL

Article excerpt

After five knockout years onstage, Brit thesp ready for multimedia success

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARDS

Jonjo O'Neill has given electric performances in the U.K.'s premier theaters this past year: the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theater and the Royal Court. With 20 productions in five years, he's been onstage nearly every evening, with roles ranging from a tap-dancing medical experimenter to Richard III. In the RSC's "Romeo and Juliet" and "As You Like It," he stole the show as Mercutio and Orlando, respectively. Next frontiers: TV and film.

BACKGROUND IMPRESSIONS

"I'm from Ireland, a place of funny people who are good at telling stories, at doing impressions. All of that is an actor's skill set, if s all present In my family, but I'm the only one who has chosen to pursue it." His family, he says, has been amazingly supportive. "They think I'm smart because I do Shakespeare. When your son is playing a king at the RSC, it seems like the apex of cleverness."

THE BOARDS MYSTIQUE

Shakespeare is intimidating to most people. O'Neill says they are under the illusion that there's a group of people who comprehend it naturally. …

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