Connor Jessup

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Connor Jessup
Norman Jewison and guests Tatiana Maslany, Charlie Carrick, Connor Jessup, Charlotte Sullivan at the CFC 2012 BBQ (cropped).png
Jessup in 2012
Born
Connor William Jessup

(1994-06-23) June 23, 1994 (age 26)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
NationalityCanadian
Occupation
  • Actor
  • writer
  • director
Years active2005–present

Connor William Jessup (born June 23, 1994) is a Canadian actor, writer, and director.[1][2][3] He is known for his roles as Ben Mason on the TNT science fiction television series Falling Skies (2011–2015), Taylor Blaine and Coy Henson in the ABC anthology series American Crime (2016–2017), and Tyler Locke in the Netflix series Locke & Key (2020).[4] He has also starred in feature films, most notably in the award-winning Blackbird (2012) and Closet Monster (2015).[5][6]

Career[edit]

As an actor[edit]

Jessup began acting at the age of 11 as a child actor.[7] After various early jobs, including a role in a stage adaptation of The Full Monty, Jessup got a lead role in the children's television series The Saddle Club, for which he is also credited with conceptualizing the plot of one episode.[8] He served as executive producer for the independent film Amy George, which played at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.[9]

Jessup on the set of Falling Skies in 2013

In 2011, Jessup was cast as a main character in the TNT science fiction series Falling Skies.[10] He starred on the show for five seasons.[10]

In 2012, Jessup starred in the Canadian independent film Blackbird, in which he played a troubled teen falsely accused of planning a school shooting.[5] Jessup's performance received positive reviews and the film won various awards, including the Best Canadian First Feature Film award at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.[11] The film won three awards at the Atlantic Film Festival and won the Vancouver International Film Festival award for Best Canadian Feature Film.[12] It also screened at the Cannes Film Festival.[13]

In 2015, Jessup also starred in the feature film Closet Monster, which won the Best Canadian Film Award at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and screened at various film festivals around the world, before subsequently being released nationwide in July 2016.[6]

In 2016, Jessup starred in the Emmy-winning ABC series American Crime as Taylor Blaine.[4] His performance was praised by critics.[14][15] He returned for the third season as Coy Henson.[16]

In 2018, Jessup was cast as Tyler Locke, one of the main roles in the Netflix series Locke & Key, an adaptation of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez's popular comic series of the same name.[17]

Jessup at London Comic Con in 2014

As a filmmaker[edit]

Jessup has stated in numerous interviews that his intention is to work in the film industry beyond acting, as a director and filmmaker.[18][19] In an interview with the Toronto Star, Jessup said that directing "is where my mind and heart [are] at the moment".[20] In 2014, Jessup starred in the short film Fragments, and in 2015, Jessup's short film Boy, which he wrote and directed, and was funded by bravoFACT, premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.[21][22]

In 2016, Jessup was included in Filmmaker Magazine's annual list of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film.[1] His short film Lira's Forest, which he wrote and directed, premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.[23] Jessup wants to expand this story with a feature film, Simon's Forest.[1]

In 2017, it was announced that Jessup would be directing a documentary profile of Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul for FilmStruck and The Criterion Collection.[24] The film was released in the spring of 2018.[3]

In 2019, he produced the omnibus film 30/30 Vision: 3 Decades of Strand Releasing, which included short films by Ira Sachs, Catherine Breillat, Cindy Sherman, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Brady Corbet, Rithy Pahn, Lulu Wang and more.[25][26] He contributed his own film to the program, Night Flight, inspired by the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.[27]

Influences[edit]

As a director, Jessup has expressed a particular fascination with Japanese film and culture and has stated in interviews that he is highly influenced by East Asian cinema, including directors Hirokazu Kore-eda, Edward Yang, Yasujirō Ozu, Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.[1][28][29][30] He has also expressed admiration for directors Abbas Kiarostami, Andrew Haigh, and Ira Sachs.[1][31]

Personal life[edit]

Jessup is openly gay and came out publicly in a post on Instagram in June 2019.[32]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Type
2012 Blackbird Sean Randall
2014 Skating to New York Casey Demas
2014 Little Coffins N/A Short film; writer/director
2014 Fragments Alex Short film
2015 Boy N/A Short film; writer/director
2015 Crazy House Beckett Short film
2015 Closet Monster Oscar Madly
2017 Lira's Forest N/A Short film; writer/director
2018 A.W. A Portrait of Apichatpong Weerasethakul Director Documentary
2019 Strange But True Ronnie
2019 Disappearance at Clifton Hill
2019 White Lie Owen
2019 Night Flight N/A Short film; writer/director

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2007 The Jon Dore Television Show Bat Throwing Kid #3 Episode: "Jon Gets Scared"
2008–2009 The Saddle Club Simon Atherton Main role (series 3)
2011 King Ben Moser Episode: "Eleni Demaris"
2011–2015 Falling Skies Ben Mason Main role
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Younger Supporting Actor in a Television Series
2016 American Crime Taylor Blaine Main role (season 2)
2017 American Crime Coy Henson 4 episodes (season 3)
2020 Locke & Key Tyler Locke Main role

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Rizov, Vadim. "Connor Jessup | Filmmaker Magazine". Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  2. ^ "Connor Jessup – Interview Magazine". Interview Magazine. June 5, 2016. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Mysterious Impressions: Connor Jessup on Apichatpong Weerasethakul". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "TIFF: Breakout Star Connor Jessup on American Crime and Teen Sexuality". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Blackbird gets into TIFF12, Lead Connor Jessup gets honored". August 8, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Closet Monster wins big at TIFF 2015 | Daily Xtra". www.dailyxtra.com. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  7. ^ "Connor Jessup". IMDb. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "Connor Jessup Bio".
  9. ^ "Q&A: Connor Jessup talks TIFF film Amy George". September 15, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Ngwije, Americ (2011). "Connor Jessup Opens Up About Noah Wyle, Alien Invasions and Game Of Thrones". DaemonsTV. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  11. ^ "Chester filmmaker wins TIFF award for Blackbird". The Chronicle Herald. September 17, 2012. Archived from the original on March 11, 2014.
  12. ^ "Blackbird director Jason Buxton earns Claude Jutra Award for debut film". Toronto Star, January 29, 2013.
  13. ^ "Q&A with Jason Buxton". The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  14. ^ "Performer of the Week: Connor Jessup". TVLine. February 20, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  15. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (January 6, 2016). "American Crime Star Connor Jessup Discusses Season 2, 'Staggering' Scope of Male Sexual Assault". Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  16. ^ Prudom, Laura (August 17, 2016). "American Crime Brings Back Connor Jessup for Season 3". Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (December 19, 2018). "Locke & Key: Connor Jessup & Emilia Jones To Play Tyler & Kinsey Locke In Netflix Series From Carlton Cuse & Joe Hill". Deadline. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  18. ^ "Connor Jessup: Toronto actor sees future as director | Toronto Star". thestar.com. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  19. ^ "Canadian actor Connor Jessup easing into his right to tell stories". Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  20. ^ "Connor Jessup: Toronto actor sees future as director | Toronto Star". thestar.com. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  21. ^ "TIFF: Breakout Star Connor Jessup on American Crime and Teen Sexuality". Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  22. ^ "TIFF.net | Boy". Toronto International Film Festival. Archived from the original on May 29, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  23. ^ "Lira's Forest". www.tiff.net. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  24. ^ "MEET THE FILMMAKERS: JOSH AND BENNY SAFDIE – The Hollywood 360". thehollywood360.com. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  25. ^ Macaulay, Scott. "Strand Releasing's "30/30 Vision": Premiering New iPhone Shorts by Ira Sachs, James Schamus and Elisabeth Subrin". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  26. ^ Kohn, Eric (September 18, 2019). "30 Major Filmmakers Salute Strand Releasing's 30 Years of Arthouse Distribution With New Short Films". IndieWire. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  27. ^ "Connor Jessup on Instagram: "I made a little iPhone movie called NIGHT FLIGHT, inspired by the beautiful book by Saint-Exupéry. It's part of the omnibus project 30/30…"". Instagram. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  28. ^ "Film Captures the Spirit in BOY | Graphic Communications". Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  29. ^ "Interview: Connor Jessup talks Falling Skies, New Projects & Life Experiences | Three If By Space". August 6, 2015. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  30. ^ nurun.com. "Short film about a boy – and his ghost". Brantford Expositor. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  31. ^ "Canadian actor Connor Jessup easing into his right to tell stories". Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  32. ^ Megarry, Daniel (June 24, 2019). "American Crime star Connor Jessup comes out as gay". Gay Times. Archived from the original on June 24, 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2019.

External links[edit]