Londoner George Jaques is an impressive quadruple threat as writer, director, producer and actor.
He is nearing completion on a four-week shoot for feature directing debut Black Dog, following two teenagers trying to cope with grief and loss while on a road trip north from the capital. It is inspired by Jaques’ own feelings of “alienation” when his friends all moved on to university and he was left “sweeping hair in a barbershop”.
Executive producer David Parfitt has been “a godfather of support” for the project, Jaques says. “He is such a sounding board for me, and he’s so kind — what I’ve always tried to do with everything I’ve done is just be kind.”
Having co-written the script with fellow 2022 Star of Tomorrow and lead actor Jamie Flatters, the pair are producing through Jaques’ Athenaeum Productions. He set up the company aged 16 (he is now 22) for stage shows Dilate and Breathe, made with young actors from London. “I set up the company as a medium of self-expression for young people,” says Jaques. “We were all under 18 and all up for it.” He has since directed five short films — three of which (Cracked, Tuesday and Tiny Dancer) he shot in a week in 2020.
That year Jaques also made his acting breakthrough, as co-lead opposite Jude Law in HBO/Marc Munden’s 12-hour live single-camera show The Third Day: Autumn, from theatre producers Punchdrunk. Jaques was kidnapped, chased through fields, walked down a beach in underwear and a thorn crown, and dug his own grave for two hours. “There was no ‘acting’ required,” he says. “I don’t think I’ll necessarily do anything as hard as that.”
Upcoming on-screen credits include Lionsgate’s The Serpent Queen as King Francis II of France; and Sky’s A Town Called Malice with Martha Plimpton, Dougray Scott and Jason Flemyng, the latter another mentor to Jaques having produced or executive produced several of his shorts.
Jaques has also written a script for his next feature, based on “the essence of the Peter Pan story”; and is writing a show with Smack The Pony’s Sally Phillips. “I’m grateful that people want me to work with them on their stuff now.”