entertainment

Former Skins star Jack O'Connell gets totally naked for 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' revival

2017-07-26
Viewers of British teenage drama Skins will know that Hollywood heartthrob Jack O'Connell is no stranger to getting naked for the sake of his art, and the 26-year-old Unbroken star is once again daring to go bare - this time for the London revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. In news that will surely put bums firmly on seats throughout the show's 10-week run at the capital's Apollo Theatre, it has emerged that Jack spends much of Tennessee Williams' 1955 play - about a wealthy family living on a Mississippi plantation - in a partial or complete state of undress. The opening scene of director Benedict Andrews’s updated production sees O'Connell's sexually-repressed character of Brick sitting completely naked in the shower - and what's more, it turns out the Derbyshire-born actor didn't know he'd be flashing audiences quite so much flesh when he took on the role. "It was just turning up to the rehearsal room and there was a pole on the stage representing the shower", Jack told the Evening Standard. "When you read the script you were led to believe the shower was off-stage, so it was a revelation to realise I would be starkers." Co-star Sienna Miller, who plays Jack's onscreen wife Maggie - a role immortalised on screen by Elizabeth Taylor in Richard Brooks' 1958 film adaptation - adds that the nude shower scene is "a brilliant way to start a West End show". We couldn't agree more, Sienna. The High-Rise star, 35, continued: "You’re in the shower and it tells you instantly what play you are watching and I think that’s the genius of Benedict, that this is our version and this is what it is going to be — so hold on." One of gay playwright Tennessee Williams' most celebrated works, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof examines the extreme relationships of a wealthy plantation-owning family in 1950s America; notably dealing with themes of life, death, class and sexual repression. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is at London's Apollo Theatre until October 7. For tickets click here. More stories: Queer as Folk turns 18: Where are they now? Louis Tomlinson finally addresses ‘Larry’ gay romance rumours with Harry Styles