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Back to Black star blames accent for his lack of Hollywood fame

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Back to Black star blames accent for his lack of Hollywood fame

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The ‘Derby twang’ isn’t marketable according to Jack O’Connell (Picture: WireImage)

Amy Winehouse biopic star star Jack O’Connell might be about to have his big Hollywood break, but he’s had to wait a long time for it.

The Derbyshire actor, 33, who starred in gritty drama This is England and as James Cook in the second generation of TV series Skins, plays Winehouse’s husband Blake Fielder in the controversial new film.

Back to Black, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, will follow the life story of the Rehab singer, who tragically died in 2011 aged 27 after a long battle with substance abuses and mental health problems.

With the film heading for a worldwide release after dominating the headlines for weeks, it’s expected to be a huge break for Jack, who says his accent might be to blame for not making a splash in America just yet.

‘The Derby twang is not marketable. I think Americans think I’m a hillbilly, that I support Trump, which I wouldn’t.

‘But there we go, there’s f*** all I can do about it.’

Recognise Jack from anywhere? (Picture: Channel 4)

Speaking to the The Times, he also defended the movie from criticism that its subject matter is insensitive: ‘We’re not even calling this a biopic, it’s a celebration. I can get with that.’

Skins quickly gained a reputation for producing A-listers, with Dev Patel, Daniel Kaluuya, Nicholas Hoult, Hannah Murray, Joe Dempsie and Kaya Scodelario all becoming major stars after featuring in the series.

In later seasons, after the original cast had moved on, the likes of Olly Alexander, Kayvan Novak, and Charlene McKenna also featured before becoming major stars in their own right.

Jack’s hoping Back to Black will give him his big Hollywood break (Picture: Backgrid)
Blake and Amy Winehouse were married between 2007 and 2009 (Picture: PA)

Despite the trouble his accent has apparently given him over the years, Jack still gave Hollywood a good crack, starring in 300: Rise of an Empire, the sequel to epic historical drama 300, and the recent Adam Driver film Ferrari.

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However, his role in Back to Black has given him pause for thought about how much fame he wants: ‘I feel a huge amount of sympathy and empathy for what Amy was going through – that level of attention. Thank god I don’t have that.’

During her life, Winehouse was repeatedly hounded by the news media and paparazzi, and her fiery marriage to Blake between 2007 and 2009 was the source of considerable press attention.

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The You Know I’m No Good singer admitted their relationship was occasionally violent, saying she would sometimes ‘chin him’ if they got into an argument while drunk.

Blake was later quoted in a tabloid newspaper claiming he introduced Winehouse to numerous recreational drugs, and was jailed in 2008 for perverting the course of justice and grievous bodily harm.

In recent years, he admitted to Piers Morgan that he would ‘always carry a burden of guilt’ over Winehouse but insisted: ‘I don’t think I ruined her, no. Certain people need to realise that she did have other addictions before she met me.’

Back to Black is in cinemas Friday, April 12.

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