George MacKay interview: “War is one of the few things we all understand”

George MacKay is beaming. He greets NME in London’s Mayfair Hotel with an enormous smile, as if this is the first interview he’s ever done and he couldn’t be happier about it. In actual fact, he’s spent most of the last three months in a tux, swapping war stories (literally) with Hollywood’s biggest names at the grandest awards parties. He met Parasite director Bong Joon-ho (“the nicest man”), Taika Waititi (“amazing energy”) and even had a fleeting encounter with Joaquin Phoenix in a toilet at the BAFTAs. Thanks to WWI thriller 1917, in which he plays the lead, MacKay is the talk of Tinseltown.

“It was exciting just to be at the ceremony,” says the 27-year-old British actor of his trip to the Academy Awards. “As well as seeing all these people in [the same room]. It’s the pinnacle of the celebrations of a year’s work.” He’s being modest here. This was the first time the British actor had been invited to the Oscars, but he’s been working for over 16 years.

Read the full cover interview on NME

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