Jack Lowden On ‘Tommy’s Honour’ by Uinterview

Actor Jack Lowden is having quite the year. He currently stars in Tommy’s Honour, a film about the first golfer to play independently of wealthy “gentlemen’s” bets. He is also in the much anticipated new Christorpher Nolan film, Dunkirk, and he will appear as indie music legend, Morrissey in England is Mine.

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In Tommy’s Honour, currently playing in theaters in the U.S., Lowden plays Tom Morris, a young, skilled golfer from Scotland, who is now considered the first to pioneer the game of professional golf. Before Morris decided to play for himself, wealthy gentleman would bet on players like Morris and take the earnings, only giving a small portion to the golfer.

“He was the first guy to say, ‘no, no, no, [the golfers] get the money, and I might give [the gentlemen] a little cut,'” Lowden told uInterview exclusively.

“He was a very honorable bloke. He’s got a sense of humor. I would have loved to have met him.”

Lowden not only learned about Morris’ feats on the links, but the actor also learned, for the first time, how to golf.

“I think it was better that I had never played golf because I had no bad habits,” Lowden said. “That’s what I was told.”

Learning for the film allowed him to emulate Morris. “I think it would have been harder if I’d played golf.”

And now, he has a skill that will entertain him for years to come. Said Lowden, “Any time you get to learn a skill for a part, it is one of the best bits about being an actor.”

Tommy’s Honour is currently in theaters across the U.S.


Q: How much did you know about Tommy before this film? -

I knew nothing. Which is another great reason to do the film. I knew absolutely nothing. When I read the script it was one of the main reasons I wanted to do it. The whole arc of Tommy throughout the film, I just found incredible. The age in which he achieved what he achieved and then the unraveling of it, I found it remarkable and tragic and beautiful all at the same time. Between the ages of 16 and 24, what he did and what he went through as a person, I just found amazing. I think it really is a beautiful story even if you just wrote it down in three or four sentences. That alone is just such a beautiful story, it really is.

Q: Did you practice your golf swing before shooting the film? -

I trained up for it. We had a brilliant golf coach, Jim Farmer, who took me through everything and I think it was better that I had never played golf because I had no bad habits, that's what I was told. They really wanted to get as authentic a swing, to the time and all this kind of stuff. I think it would have been harder if I'd played golf. But it was great fun. Any time you get to learn a skill for a part, it is one of the best bits about being an actor – learning something that you have never done. Just going into a world you have never been into. Its a whole world, golf, just like music. Its just this whole world that I was never involved with and then you're just chucked into the deep end. And its great, I love talking to anybody who is enthusiastic and passionate obsessed about something. Anything, it could be golf, music, anything. So it was fascinating.

Q: What drove Tommy to become a champion? -

That's the thing that when I eventually I watched the film and I tried to do as well, and I'm glad that it comes across, at least to me anyway, that he is sort of a reluctant star. Its not his aim in life, well when he is young it sort of starts of like that, but when he meets his the woman he falls in love with, when they try and have a family, that becomes priority number one and that's what I loved. It is not a story about a guy that always wanted to play golf and wanted to be the champion. That's kind of dealt with in the first 20 minutes of the film. And then it becomes about the man. And that's what I loved about it. He is a very honorable bloke. He's got a sense of humor. I would have loved to have met him. Like I say, the age in which he did this stuff. Its just extraordinary. Whenever you do play someone from history, that's always the thing that amazes me first and foremost. A lot of these guys who have been lauded and celebrated over the years in sport or history, you're talking about guys who were in their teens and you think 'what the hell where you doing in your teens of any significance?' It puts us to shame, it really does.

Q: How does class and wealth affect Tommy and his wife, Meg? -

It is always very hard, obviously coming from the U.K., the U.K. is obsessed with class. It is one of the great taboos that we never really talk about in the U.K. We aren't very good at confronting it too much because it is something that has been rife through out the U.K. and it still is. Meg was very much someone who fought against that and so was Tommy. She had a child out of wedlock, that was frowned upon, she had a bastard, thats what they called it. He didn't seem care and they went and tried to have another kid. You know, with the golf, it started off as an afternoon out for gentlemen in red jackets to bet, just like horse raising, these guys would play for them and they would get a tiny little cut of the money. He was the first guy to say, "no, no, no, we get the money, and I might give you a cut." And now it just seems extraordinary to think about it. If you think about any massive golf star or any sports star, the idea of them being owned by someone. I mean, some of them are, obviously, by an agent or whatever, but it seems very bizarre and it was hard to get your head around. But they were two people that very much took on the status quo and that has got to be admired.

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