He may have flown under the radar for some time, but Jack Bannon is no stranger to the spotlight. He doesn’t remember being struck by the acting bug, only that the desire to act has always been a fundamental part of his life. He spent his childhood, in Norwich, “prancing around the living room” in self-directed shows and performing in youth theatre productions, before going on to score a slew of small roles in films and television series such as The Imitation Game, Fury, Medici and Endeavour.
Bannon never went to drama school, instead claiming to have “fluked it and chatted my way in” to the industry. He’s being modest, of course. Talent and determination have taken him this far, and have now landed him his most significant role: the titular character in the highly anticipated television drama Pennyworth, a Batman prequel based on the early life of Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth. While the series is inextricably linked to the wider Batman world, it’s imbued with a distinctly grown-up flavour; Bannon maintains that “we managed to find our own voice”.
The result is a slick, stylish and fast-paced character-based piece, with Bannon’s twentysomething Pennyworth a smooth-talking Bond-esque former special forces officer determined to leave his past behind and “be my own man”. It’s the type of role that will no doubt garner Bannon legions of fans and see plenty more opportunities come his way, which he is more than open to. He just has one condition. “I’m not really fussed about genres,” he says. “As long as it’s stuff with really good scripts and strong, well-written characters.” Whatever the specifics of his future, it’s likely it will include a whirlwind career. Stay tuned.