The story of a sensitive young man’s quest to come to terms with who he is and what he wants to be, Into the Mirror (12A) is showing in a regional premiere at Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, on Saturday 23 November.
And for actor Jamie Bacon, who studied A-levels at Poole’s Jellicoe Theatre and is playing his first lead role in a film, there are parallels with his own life.
“There are always people who will judge you and jump to conclusions and there have been times when I’ve felt judged,” he says. “When I was growing up and told people I was doing drama and dance I used to get some stick so I’m really looking forward to showing this film in Poole in front of my family and friends.”
Jamie plays Daniel, a newcomer to London who has always struggled with his identity. Growing up he thought he might be a girl and although his mother accepted him the way he was, his father did not. Since his mother’s death he has felt more alone than ever and when his boss takes advantage of his vulnerability, he hits rock bottom.
“Out of that though he meets a friend called Blu who introduces him to another world where he meets a drag queen and suddenly his life starts to make more sense to him,” explains Jamie, who also co-wrote the film. “We see him as he begins a transition but at the end of the film his future is known.
“There’s a lot of naturalism in the first part of the film but the final third is a great, big, glittery celebration of Daniel as he begins his transition. It’s very positive and upbeat and although I’m not a spokesperson for the LGBT community I am very happy to draw attention to it and maybe help people understand more about it.
“In life I’m the opposite to who Daniel is, but I think there is something of him in all of us. I’m encouraged by his bravery – with playing the lead role and co-writing I feel an enormous responsibility on this film; there’s a lot at stake. It’s a bit scary.”
Jamie will next be seen on the big screen in new British comedy Brighton, adapted from Steven Berkoff’s stage play Brighton Beach Scumbags, with Larry Lamb, Lesley Sharp and Phil Davis. He also stars with Daniel Mays and Laura Haddock in the forthcoming Netflix drama series White Lines about the disappearance of a DJ on Ibiza. He had a small role in the Elton John biopic Rocketman and has just started work on A Gift from Bob, the sequel to the critically lauded A Street Cat Named Bob.
At 27, things certainly seem to be travelling in the right direction for Jamie Bacon.
“Yes, at last,” he laughs. “Acting is such a fragile business though so when I’m not working London rents seems even more daunting, but for the last year I have been working full-time and really enjoying it.
“For that I owe a great deal to the Jellicoe Theatre. It’s such a great place to learn and a real credit to Poole so it’s a thrill to be able to show this film to a hometown audience. I’ll be nervous but it will be a great night.”