Jordan A. Nash stars as the free-spirited and mischievous Peter Pan reimagined as the brother of Alice (of Wonderland) directed by Brenda Chapman
In this imaginative origin story of two of the most beloved characters in the world, we see two magical worlds merge together. Eight-year-old Alice (Keira Chansa) and her mischievous brother Peter (Jordan A.Nash) and their older brother David (Reece Yates) let their imaginations run away with them, the children make-believe tea-parties, sword fights, and pirate ship adventures but their blissful summer comes to an end when tragedy strikes. Trying to help their parents Jack and Rose (David Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie), Alice and Peter must then journey to London to sell a treasured heirloom. Returning home, Alice seeks temporary refuge in a wondrous rabbit hole, while Peter enters a magical realm as leader of the lost boys.
We spoke to Jordan A. Nash who plays Peter Pan to find out more about his character and his acting journey so far and how he is taking on working with some of Hollywood’s most respected stars …
Please introduce yourself…
Hi, I’m Jordan Nash, a 13-year-old actor who has been acting from the age of 5, I am also a singer-songwriter and producer. I am also a dancer. I’m also a member of a choir at Hampstead Parochial Church. My mum is South African and her heritage is Zulu, Irish, Malaysian, and Indian. My dad is British with Nigerian heritage.
What word or sentence best describes your life right now?
Hectic and productive.
You are such a talented young man, you sing, you dance, you even write your own music. How do you find the time to do all this while being at school?
It’s easier for me as I have been homeschooled since the age of about 4 or 5. I’ve always had structure in my life, which helps me utilise time wisely and so I often have time spare in the day to goof around.
You’ve played characters in TV series such as Hetty Feather, Call the Midwife, Jacob Wells North in Harlots; you played a young Michael in Michael Jackson: Man in the Mirror TV movie documentary and you had a role in Disney’s Aladdin. What have you enjoyed doing the most so far and why
They have all been epic projects to work on and are all amazing in their own way. I have a soft spot for Harlots as I worked opposite Danny Sapani who plays my dad in the series and he is the one who taught me chess. He is my chess mentor to this day. Playing Michael Jackson was a dream come true as he is such an icon and someone I look up to as a musician and dancer. I also got to have an afro which was pretty cool as it would take years for my hair to grow to that length. Working opposite Will Smith was really fun as he is a very funny and kind man and made acting opposite him very easy. I would have to say that the best part of being in the set of Aladdin was the mango smoothies on Tap!
Now you have been cast as Peter in Come Away, you play the son of Jack (David Oleyowo) and Rose (Angelina Jolie) but this is not the first time you have played the son of Hollywood superstars, you played Will’s son in Aladdin as his son, though it was a small part, how did the experience help when taking on this project working with such huge stars?
I don’t watch much TV at home, so I was unaware of who they were. In a way, I think that makes it much easier for me to work opposite them as I don’t see them as huge stars but as normal people. Angelina Jolie was very normal to be around, we even had Indian take away at her house. The only time I have ever been star-struck is when I worked opposite Lewis Hamilton on an advert. I am a huge sports fanatic so I only get star-struck when I meet footballers, tennis players, or formula one drivers.
Both Peter Pan and Alice In Wonderland are classic tales that many people young and old know and love. Obviously, we all know that both characters are traditionally white and have been played by white casts. You are the first Black boy to play the character and the cast is extremely diverse. How excited were you to be cast and what does it mean for you to play such an iconic character?
It was such a massive privilege to play the iconic Peter Pan and it’s really exciting because I’ve known the character and read the book when I was about five years old. But I was wondering if kids in this modern day have been able to connect to the character always being a white boy. But to play such an iconic character that kids my age or younger of similar background can identify with is really exciting.
In this modern twist, what characteristics have been taken from the original Peter, and what new characteristics have been added to make this new version of Peter?
I think Marissa Kate Goodhill (writer) kept most of the characteristics from the original story and I just had to research and play around with ideas for my character until I landed with what felt right. Our director Brenda Chapman is an amazing person, and she allowed me to really play around with the emotions in the scenes which I was really grateful for.
There is a mixed heritage Alice (Keira Chansa), Alice Darling is Played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Clark Peters plays Hatter and David Gyasi is Captain James (Hook). How do you think the audience will react to these new character dynamics?
Hopefully, the audience is going to enjoy the movie. Merissa has done a fantastic job merging the two stories together while coming up with a story filled with action, drama, chaos, tragedy; while keeping all the magical elements of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. I don’t think the audience should even realise that we are a diverse ethnic cast playing these roles. The story is such a creative idea and the acting is impeccable!
What did you enjoy the most about filming?
We shot Come Away in some incredible locations in and around London, including Windsor Great Park, and of course, we also were lucky to shoot scenes in Los Angeles. I have never acted in a film where I got to do action scenes so this was the highlight of filming for me. I got to do my own stunts and had some training in sword fighting. We practiced with plastic swords but used real swords on set. I also got to do flying scenes which were epic… but they were cut!
Do you have any new projects coming up?
I’ve just finished filming a guest role in Breeders a comedy series on Sky and Fox starring Martin Freeman. It was nice to be able to film something this year as it has been quiet in the TV and film industry for obvious reasons. I also start filming another guest role on series 2 of The Great in January so I will be back in period costume again. In film, I have a small role in Infinite opposite Mark Wahlberg.
What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?
I’m looking forward to binging on bitesize shredded wheat and playing FIFA until my fingers hurt. I’m lucky enough to spend every day with my parents so we are just looking forward to being able to let our hair down and enjoy the festive season together and play a game of monopoly without an argument.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Your favourite book to read? – Most of The Secret Seven books and The Charlie Fry series.
Your favourite song or artist right now? – I haven’t got the foggiest idea, to be honest. I love too many artists to pick just one. Maybe Roddie Rich and Nina Simone if I was to be super picky.
A film/TV show that you have watched/can watch repeatedly? – Home Alone, Home Alone Lost in New York, and The Wizard of Oz. I love classic movies. I guess that’s why I don’t know any current film stars.
The first stage production you saw and what it meant to you? – I remember going to watch Iggle Piggle at the O2 and I recall being excited but scared at the same time because the characters were so big compared to the TV!
What has made you glad this week? – Putting up our Christmas Decorations!
Come Away is released in cinemas 18th Decemeber 2020