Jack Reynor was born in the U.S. in 1992 but moved with his family to Ireland when he was two years of age. He came to international prominence in What Richard Did” in 2012. He is currently making “Transformers 4” in Hollywood.
A gifted young Irish actor, Jack Reynor rose from acclaimed work in independent films to starring in huge blockbusters. He made his screen debut playing an altar boy in Kevin Liddy’s “Country” (2000), a drama exploring the secrets and lives of an Irish family. His professional momentum increased with larger roles in the made-for-TV movies “Three Wise Women” (STV, 2010) and “Chasing Leprechauns” (Hallmark Channel, 2012) as well as in Kirsten Sheridan’s challenging, largely improvised “Dollhouse” (2012). Reynor’s breakthrough came with “What Richard Did” (2012), where he played the titular “golden boy” teen who makes a fatal error one night and must grapple with his conscience as well as with potentially life-ruining consequences. Reynor’s ability to portray the complex emotions of a character pushed to his limits, both with and, more impressively, without dialogue, dazzled critics. The rising young actor earned a massive international profile boost, however, when it was announced he was cast in the fourth installment of Michael Bay’s global blockbuster franchise, “Transformers” (2007, 2009, 2011). The casting news boosted Reynor’s profile overnight, elevating him to leading man status on an international scale.
Born Jan. 23, 1992 in Colorado, Reynor was the son of human rights activist Tara O’Grady and nephew of actor Paul Raynor, a supporting player in U.K. features and television. While still in preschool, Reynor moved with his family to Humphrystown, County Wicklow, Ireland with his family. There, he fell in love with the movies, watching Hollywood features like “Die Hard” several times a day. In 2000, he made his first appearance in Kevin Liddy’s drama “Country,” on which he impulsively talked his way into moving up from extra to a bit player role as an altar boy. The experience cemented his interest in acting, which he pursued through appearances in student productions at Belvedere College in Dublin. Reynor returned to filmmaking in 2010 with an appearance in the Hallmark Channel TV-film “Three Wise Women,” a romantically-themed variation on A Christmas Carol.
In 2012, he had his first major movie role as a young man caught up in a home invasion in director Kirsten Sheridan’s improvised drama “Dollhouse.” The year proved to be a watershed for Reynor, thanks largely to his star turn as a privileged young man who commits a terrible crime in “What Richard Did” (2012). Festival screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival led to a contract with the William Morris Agency and the attention of Steven Spielberg, who cast Reynor in a supporting role in the Dreamworks comedy “The Delivery Man” (2013), a comedy vehicle for Vince Vaughn. More significantly, his performance in “What Richard Did” inspired director Michael Bay to cast Reynor as the lead opposite Mark Wahlberg in “Transformers 4,” which reportedly marked the launch of a new trilogy for the science fiction-action franchise. The casting news boosted Reynor’s profile overnight, elevating him to leading man status on an international scale.
By Paul Gaita
The above TCM overview can also be accessed online here.