Jenn was recently featured on InStyle.co.uk’s #FutureFifteen list; a list of “the movers, shakers and makers of the future. From music to movies and art to apps, these are the hot new names to drop.” View the whole list here, or just see Jenn’s feature below.
‘I went for a really firm one. The man in John Lewis was like, “Are you sure?” And I was like, “Yes, I know what I like.”’ It’s post-InStyle shoot and Jenn Murray is telling me about how she can’t wait to get home to have a nap on her new mattress. After months of filming the upcoming adaptation of JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them, Murray has finally found the time to move house. With her porcelain skin and piercing blue eyes, it’s not hard to see why the bewitching 30-year-old was cast in the fantasy drama about a secret community of witches and wizards in New York. Growing up in Northern Ireland, films were always a means of escapism. ‘One time at school I was really unwell and my mum came to take me home. We watched The Money Pit with Tom Hanks and that’s a memory I’ll never forget. It’s like you don’t feel well, but you watch a story and you just feel better.’ Although acting was always the career goal, the path to get there wasn’t exactly clear. ‘I didn’t have anyone around me who represented that world,’ says Murray.
‘My father was a pharmacist, my mum was a teacher. My brother and sister are lawyers. So it was just a quiet dream that I had.’ But after deferring a place at university to try out for drama school, things really took off. Murray’s first big break came when she was cast as the lead in the thriller Dorothy Mills while still studying. ‘It was the hardest job, ironically, because it was the first thing I ever did. Most people start off with a few lines here or there, so there was a lot of pressure on me.’ Her next pinch-me moment came along with a role starring alongside Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn. ‘I’d read the book many times. It’s about grief, love and making choices in your life. It’s relevant to everyone.’ So what did she learn from her Oscar-nominated co-star? ‘Saoirse is really kind and low-key.
The best actors I’ve met have eyes in the back of their heads. I love people like that, who are quite understated but underneath there’s this power, which they’re not showing. That’s why when I was younger and wanted to act, I didn’t tell anyone. The child at school who wants to be an actor is always the loudest person in the room, the one who sings songs. But the best actors I’ve worked with are very shy; the people who observe.’