When Foxtel executives first saw Deadline Gallipoli, they were so impressed with the performance of Joel Jackson they made a highly unusual deal with the young actor and his agent.
A 2013 NIDA graduate, Jackson makes his screen debut as Charles Bean, one of the three war correspondents at the centre of the miniseries.
Foxtel executive director of television Brian Walsh and head of drama Penny Win wanted to ensure Deadline Gallipoli will be the first time Australians see the 24-year-old Jackson on screen.
So they made a financial arrangement with the actor’s agent Mark Morrissey of Morrissey Management that if he took jobs in other shows, none would go to air before Deadline Gallipoli premieres on showcase in April.
“It’s very unusual to do that kind of holding deal, especially for a young man who was straight out of NIDA,” Morrissey tells IF.
Morrissey signed Jackson after admiring his work at NIDA, observing. “His performances were all strong. He’s very masculine but there is sensitivity in his portrayals. He’s also a talented muso and comes from a very well-rounded family.”
Jackson co-stars with Sam Worthington as Australian photographer Phillip Schuler and Hugh Dancy and Ewen Leslie as fellow correspondents Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett and Keith Murdoch.
Rachel Griffiths and Charles Dance play Lady Hamilton and General Hamilton and John Bell is Lord Kitchener. Worthington’s Full Clip Productions co-produced with Matchbox Pictures.
Walsh, who is not normally given to hyperbole, confidently predicts Jackson will become Australia’s next big star.
He quotes Charles Dance, who was so struck with Jackson that he told producer Penny Chapman on set, “This young man is something special.”
Last year Morrissey and Jackson went to Los Angeles to meet with the top talent agencies. Jackson signed with UTA’s Shani Rosenzweig, Louise Ward, Chris Hart and Scott Schachter.
Jackson is about to start work on another major Aussie TV project, thus far under wraps.