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My Life in Movies: Jack Whitehall

Famous Londoners share their favourite hometown film spots

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

What was the first movie you remember seeing at the cinema?
'I saw a lot of Disney films as a child but "The Lion King" was the first film I remember. I remember seeing it at the Putney Odeon with my mum and dad. I'm super-obsessed with that film and always have been. I wrote an entire stand-up show about how I'd never got over the death of Mufasa. It was very emotionally traumatic.’

What your current local cinema?
'I've been to The Electric in Notting Hill a couple of things but Whiteleys in Bayswater is probably my favourite.'

What's your favourite London movie?
'I love "Lock, Stock" and "Snatch". I have a secret urge to be in a Guy Ritchie film. Everyone's always telling me I'm always playing posh people, so I'd love to go full Guy Ritchie and surprise everyone. It could be horrendous but I'd love to do it. Me, maybe The Stath, Bricktop... maybe The Meg 2, set in The Thames.'

Which director captures London best?
'Guy Ritchie. Although I feel like I live in a Richard Curtis film sometimes: I live in Notting Hill and that hapless middle-classness feels familiar. 

What are the Hollywood misrepresentations of London that annoy you?
'Bad London accents are a pet hate, although the worst London accent is Charlie Hunnam's East End gangster in "Green Street" and he's English. That's the fear if I do the Guy Ritchie film. Good on Charlie Hunnam that he's rebuilt his career.' It's the modern equivalent of Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins".'

What's been your most memorable London location to film at?
'Filming at The Tate was cool. Weirdly, I was in "The Bourne Supremacy" without even knowing it. I was in Waterloo Station when they were filming and got barged by Matt Damon as he was running. Maybe I can get that on my IMBd page? The minute I noticed there was a camera, I created a backstory. Jack Whitehall as "Commuter 1". 

What's been your most memorable London premiere?
'I went to the "Frozen" premiere but that was a thorny one because I was cut out of the film. I had a line as one of the trolls – "I trollfully pronounce you man and wife" – but I was reduced to a non-speaking part. 

'The Nutcracker and The Four Realms' is in cinemas on Fri Nov 2.

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