Up and coming star Jack O’Connell is raking in the praise as the lead in brand new period thriller ’71 with critics lauding his performance as ‘outstanding’. Since his appearance in Skins: Rise – part of the seventh and final series of the hit teen drama O’Connell’s movie career has only just begun but he has already made quite a name for himself as young offender Eric Love in this year’s prison drama, Starred Up.
Whilst Jack O’Connell may be making an ascent to stardom, it’s worth remembering the rest of the Skins family. Some of the cast have slipped completely beneath the radar but others have made their own foundations in the acting world. Here are the best of the best actors to come out of Skins:
#5 Joe Dempsie & Hannah Murray
Onscreen housemates Chris Miles and Cassie Ainsworth have great friendly chemistry in the second season of Skins but none were more brilliantly heartbreaking than the final few moments of Chris’ life, shared with Cassie. After Hannah Murray appeared in Cassie’s own dedicated mini-film Skins: Pure, Joe went on to voicing the British Clearasil adverts. By 2011 Joe found himself working on a regular series again as part of the ensemble cast of Game of Thrones as apprentice blacksmith Gendry . Hannah Murray followed suit with her part on the show in 2012 as Gilly, the all too innocent mother of a child born of incest. Cassie and Chris helped each other straighten up their lives in Skins and it seems even now where one may go, the other is in tow.
#4 Kathryn Prescott & Lily Loveless
Skins sweethearts Naomi and Emily have received the most recognition of any couple from Skins – the fan base of ‘Naomily’ broke into uproar after the final of Skins: Fire showed the two lovers crying on cancer patient Naomi’s hospital bed. The two actresses have also been credited for helping fans connect and be open about their sexuality. Following their Skins experiences they two made other appearances on television: Lily Loveless appeared in gritty, urban thriller Sket in 2011 and the supernatural TV series The Fades along with one of our number 5’s, Joe Dempsie. Loveless has also landed a lead role in the long awaited (and still unreleased) new film Fear of Water where she will be playing out a further coming out story. Lily’s fictional other half has done just as well as her – Kat Prescott’s professional photography career recently kicked off and she launched her What Makes Us Care? project which targets that exact question. Lily Loveless features in this exhibit sporting darkened eyes and dirty skin to help raise awareness of homelessness. Prescott also appears as the lead role in the hit teen drama Finding Carter and is due to feature in upcoming short horror film Dregs later in the year.
#3 Dev Patel
Inconsistently devout Muslim Anwar Kharral made us laugh and cry during his time in Skins but Patel is now more famously known for his award winning performance as Jamal Malik in Slumdog Millionaire. The film won eight Oscars at the Academy Awards in 2009 and Dev Patel himself won three awards for his brilliant take on the role. Since that smash hit, Patel has featured in The Last Airbender and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in 2010 and ’11, respectively. Patel has been nominated for dozens of further awards including Best Male Breakthrough Performance and British Actor of the Year. He’s since taken a lead – and suitably comic – role in Aaron Sorkin’s masterful TV Series The Newsroom. Patel has certainly come farther than most when it comes to the Skins cast and stands as a shining example of an actor who continues to grow in range.
#2 Jack O’Connell
One of the stronger actors to feature in the Skins series is Jack O’Connell himself, whose portrayal of delinquent, drug addict James Cook was top of the class. He excelled in the last of the Skins mini-films Skins: Rise and tweeted a cheerful goodbye to his long loved character Cook after Skins series seven was finally at an end. O’Connell has been spotted playing several small roles in films before his time in Skins, the most well-known being his appearance in This Is England in 2006. Aside from his recent experiences headlining British features he has appeared in smaller films such as Private Peaceful which aired in 2012 and he’s due another appearance in WWII film Unbroken (directed by Angelina Jolie) which is due for release later this year. Jack O’Connell’s natural rugged charm and ability to gel with any role has given him a strong start to a very promising future.
#1 Nicholas Hoult & Kaya Scodelario
Holding the number one spot is of course Skins number one brother and sister, Tony and Effy Stonem. The relationship between the Stonem siblings was a dream to watch on screen and as the two grew up together the audience were able to be there with them as it happened. With roles like About A Boy in 2002, blockbuster hotshot Nicholas Hoult had already made a name for himself before Skins recruited him as their cocky teen but has since only achieved more Hollywood prominence landing lead after lead in highly rated films such as Warm Bodies, a zombie romance which gave us a glimpse of him as the undead, and of course his recurring role in the X-Men: First Class films as Beast. The good news is that the sibling spark between the two actors hasn’t died completely as Kaya was reunited with former Skins alumni Joe Dempsie earlier this year in the brutal but extraordinary Southcliffe. Speaking of Kaya, her TV and film portfolios are looking seriously impressive with her performance alongside Dakota Fanning in the heart wrenching Now Is Good. Scodelario also had a part in this year’s highly anticipated The Maze Runner alongside appearances in Wuthering Heights, Clash of the Titans and her ITV debut alongside Billie Piper in True Love. Between them, the two fictional siblings have made excellent names for themselves and there’s still definitely more to come, proving themselves as Skins’ number one post-series stars.