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George MacKay picks his hidden movie gem that deserves more love

‘It’s a beautiful film, but it’s not necessarily an easy film,’ the ‘Femme’ and ‘1917’ actor said

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 08 December 2023 19:25 GMT
Femme star George MacKay: ‘Sex scenes are fundamental to storytelling’ | Go to Bat

George MacKay has picked what he believes to be the most underrated film of his career so far.

The Bafta-nominated and BIFA-winning British actor, whose credits include Pride and 1917, sat down for Independent TV’s new series Go to Bat, which sees stars of the big and small screen shine a light on their past projects that they think deserves more love.

Weeks after Boiling Point actor Ray Panthaki made his choice, MacKay, whose new film Femme is out now, shared his own choice, picking a film that didn’t have quite the same trajectory as the breakout hit Pride, which was released in the same year.

MacKay, 31, selected the coming-of age drama Bypass, which he described as “a very low-budget British indie directed by an amazing director called Duane Hopkins”.

The actor said the “personal” film was a “fundamental learning experience” for him, telling Independent TV: “Everyone absolutely threw themselves at it, but luck of the draw, it kind of came and went in the cinemas.”

He continued: “Also, it’s not a film that had the budget to support promoting itself in the way it would have liked to. It’s a beautiful film but it’s not necessarily an easy film. It came and went, frankly.”

MacKay stars in the film as Tim, an ailing teenager whose family life sees him forced into becoming a full-time carer for his sister.

The actor, who was 23 when he appeared in the film, told IndependentTV “it was the hardest I’d ever worked up until that point”.

“It pushed a new boundary and, since then, I’ve tried to keep up with or push again,” he added.

George MacKay and Charlotte Spencer in ‘Bypass’ (BBC Films)

New film Femme explores the relationship between Jules (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), a victim of a homophobic attack, and his attacker Preston (MacKay), whom he encounters in a gay sauna months later.

Earlier this month, at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), MacKay split the Best Joint Lead Performance award with his co-star Stewart-Jarrett.

Watch MacKay’s full interview, in which he discusses both Femme and his hidden gem of choice, here.

Femme is in cinema snow, and Bypass can be streamed on Amazon Freevee.

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