Jack O’Connell has been boxing since his early teens, and he largely credits the sport for molding him into the man he is today. So it’s no surprise he was enthusiastic about the opportunity to play a bareknuckle brawler in the indie drama Jungleland. The story centers on two roughneck brothers who road trip cross-country for an underground no-holds-barred competition. When it came time to prepare for the film’s shoot in Boston, O’Connell decided his best way to get into character would be to treat his pre-production time like a training camp.
“I trained like I was preparing for a real boxing fight,” O’Connell tells Men’s Journal. The work started at his home gym, Westside Boxing in West London, then moved to Brighton’s Boston Boxing and Fitness. “I was working out next to Golden Gloves competitors, and really connected with some of these guys, we even brought