Potter star looks to Depp for inspirationBy Alan Bunce
November 22, 2010
You may not realise it yet but you have probably seen Jamie McLeod-Ross on TV, at the cinema or at the theatre.
You may have seen him having a fight with Peter Beale in EastEnders or killed in a road safety advert. And you can soon see him as a Death Eater in the second part of the new Harry Potter film The Deathly Hallows, due out next year.
Those are among a multitude of roles the aspiring and ambitious actor from Padworth has performed by the age of 22 and in January he plans to take a leap forward in a career that has already put him alongside the likes of Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Daniel Radcliffe and Helena Bonham-Carter.
He is also a jetski instructor and manages the Lagoona Park jetski centre at Pingewood, owned by his parents Andy and Shirley.
They will join him and girlfriend Jodie in January on a trip to Las Vegas to meet some of the film industry’s most important agents. He admitted the speed of his career, driven by confidence and the love of attention, has taken him by surprise.
He said: “Right from Ufton Nervert [School] I was always up for doing stuff. I was never nervous even then and I always liked being the character that was the centre of attention.”
He was a regular in school plays throughout his time at The Ark School in Padworth, Ufton Nervet Primary and The Willink School. His CV now includes roles in the films Mamma Mia and three Harry Potter films, while extensive TV work includes roles in The Bill, Torn, Miss Marple, Jonathan Creek and Ashes to Ashes.
On the stage he can boast parts in Oliver Twist, Once Upon a Time, Bugsy Malone and more.
His first Harry Potter film meant more than six weeks out of school at a crucial point in his A-level years and he faced the choice of returning to study or concentrating solidly on acting. He chose acting.
He attended Starmaker theatre school – as did Reading’s Kate Winslet – and began work as an extra before taking on more significant roles. Membership of the Celebrity Talent Academy proved a significant leg-up.
During January’s three-week US trip he will be making a second visit to the actors’ convention iPOP in Los Angeles. At this year’s he won Best Actor, Best Monologue, Best Script and Best Commercial and came runner up as Model of the Year.
He said: “So many actors just go out there and hope. If you go out to Los Angeles and call an agent they will just hang up. That happened to a mate of mine. When you get to this level you are going for main parts, it’s so difficult to even get seen.”
But he said he remains careful not to just take any part. He wants variety and not to be sidelined into dead end roles.
He said: “Johnny Depp has always been a big inspiration to me. He can play different parts and I want to play different characters and do many different roles.”