Neil Gaiman wrote “Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there will always be better writers than you and there will always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you.”
Jamie’s story is one I can tell you about – not because I know it better, I don’t have this pretention, but because it’s a story I’m a lot attached to. It is one that I am honoured to share, especially since this article will give you an exclusive sneak peek into his most recent activities and moves in the film industry.
After some time on set of the forthcoming novel-inspired film The Septembers of Shiraz, Jamie is currently filming a zombie genre upcoming movie entitled Generation Z in Cardiff, directed by Steve Barker; and next year he’ll be shooting Primal Ethereal.
But first, let’s rewind a little bit! Jamie graduated from WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) a few years ago and is currently based in the UK. As you may know, I met him a month after seeing him perform as Marius in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre – London (2013). (Read my interview with Jamie HERE and also one of his most recent ones THERE). His performance blew me away; but I must say that not only was he an exceptionally outstanding Marius, his singing and acting in general are deeply moving. Everything he does is sincere and profound to the extreme and I guess that’s what makes it so emotional and him so good at what he does.
‘Magnificently breathtaking’ is how I once described him and I still believe this with all my heart. He’s a beautiful artist and an incredible performer, who’s passionate and believes in his dreams more than in anything else. Besides Les Misérables, Jamie was cast in other musicals that include Spring Awakening in 2010 (in the role of Hanschen) and Dr Zhivago in 2011 (as Young Dr Zhivago).
“I was always told to have patience, but I say forget that! Do it now! Don’t waste any precious time here. If you have an idea or a good feeling of what you want to do, just do it!” – Jamie Ward
To me, Jamie’s voice is – as I wrote it one day – comparable to the beautiful harmony of spring; it is as soft, gentle and delicate as the morning dew, and as powerful as the devastating storm, which takes your breath away. And knowing this, I guess you can imagine how happy I was when I learnt that he was also singing in a band that’s releasing their EP in December.
Regarding his acting, I could say the same thing. He’s absolutely brilliant at it and proved it already a while ago, when he embodied the young Sonny in the short film by Gary Sofarelli, Lotus Sonny, or also Romeo in Najmah’s music video of Discordant Harmonies in 2011.
I quite like to say that Jamie is a new James Dean. He has that enormous appeal and magic, just like America’s most rebellious teenager did. He’s spectacularly talented and has this inner fragility and sensitivity that makes him and his artistic expression so compelling and magnetic.
After the Russian Revolution in Dr Zhivago, the French Revolution in Les Mis, and now the Iranian Revolution of 1979 in the upcoming American drama The Septembers of Shiraz, it seems that the barricade-boy side of him took over and led him to another tale of revolution.
The Septembers of Shiraz, inspired by Dalia Sofer’s 2007 novel, is a new forthcoming film directed by Wayne Blair and written by Hanna Weg. It is the story, the powerfully affecting depiction of a prosperous Jewish family in Tehran shortly after the revolution. The movie follows the stories of each member of the Amin family over the course of their most difficult year, from September 1981 to September 1982.
Jamie plays the role of Parviz, the eldest son of Isaac (Adrien Brody) and Farnaz (Salma Hayek). Parviz was sent to New York to study architecture but strapped for cash in Brooklyn, he was reduced to working in his Hasidic landlord’s hat shop.
Generally speaking, Parviz has a more practical dismay than his father: “Why is it, he wonders, that no one understands his situation? This is not how his life was supposed to turn out. Only two years ago, he was debating between an architecture school in Paris and another in Zurich, and his parents were considering buying him an apartment. … That he should now be a burden on others both angers and shames him.”
And just like his father, Parviz will also need to consider and question his secularism, because he will fall in love with his landlord’s daughter.
The Septembers of Shiraz repeatedly suggests that life’s significance derives less from ideas than from the most basic and concrete shards of memory. It is a great novel, which guarantees to give birth to an even more beautifully harrowing film.
‘In the aftermath of the Iranian revolution, rare-gem dealer Isaac Amin is arrested, wrongly accused of being a spy. Terrified by his disappearance, his family must reconcile a new world of cruelty and chaos with the collapse of everything they have known.
As Isaac navigates the tedium and terrors of prison, forging tenuous trusts, his wife feverishly searches for him, suspecting, all the while, that their once-trusted housekeeper has turned on them and is now acting as an informer. And as his daughter, in a childlike attempt to stop the wave of baseless arrests, engages in illicit activities, his son, sent to New York before the rise of the Ayatollahs, struggles to find happiness even as he realizes that his family may soon be forced to embark on a journey of incalculable danger.
A page-turning literary debut, The Septembers of Shiraz simmers with questions of identity, alienation, and love, not simply for a spouse or a child, but for all the intangible sights and smells of the place we call home.’ – On goodreads.com
“Just pretend you’re in a movie. Be as brave and as full of love as the main character. Because we all need to believe in movies, sometimes.” – Iain S. Thomas, I Wrote This For You
“I don’t exactly know how to explain it, but I have a hunch there are some things in life we just can’t avoid. They’ll happen to us, probably because we’re built that way – we simply attract our own fate, make our own destiny.” – James Dean