18 Things to Know About Jewish Actor Oliver Jackson-Cohen

The "Surface" actor once got a U.S. visa with the personal help of Drew Barrymore.

Oliver Jackson-Cohen is a scary good actor, with the emphasis on scary.

While the Brit has been acting since he was a kid, he’s recently gotten some notice in Hollywood for his roles in psychological thrillers, including the upcoming “Surface” on Apple TV+.

But, like we said, he’s been acting for a while, so there’s plenty to learn about him!

Here are 18 things to know about Jewish actor Oliver Jackson-Cohen.

1. Oliver was born in 1986 in London to a Protestant mother and a father of Jewish heritage.

2. His mother is British fashion designer Betty Jackson.

Please enjoy this photo where he’s being a total mama’s boy:

3. His father, David Cohen, comes from a family of French-Egyptian Orthodox Jews.

In an interview, Betty described her husband’s origins, saying, “They originated from Egypt and were ousted when Nasser kicked all the Jews out and ended up in the south of France, which is where they sort of started again. So it is one of those stories that they had nothing and they are incredibly successful now, due to hard work and personality, it’s fantastic really.”

According to Oliver, his father is also “a total dude”:

4. Oliver decided to become an actor at the age of 6!

“My parents are friends with a lot of thespians and when we were kids, we were familiar with most of them,” Oliver explained in an interview. “One day I went to a theatre to see Jennifer Saunders (Ab Fab’s Edina), my mum’s best friend, and I remember being shocked by how different she was. Seeing her being someone else, was a big revelation. I wanted to escape and she showed me a way to disappear into somewhere else.”

5. Oliver’s childhood fear was Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty.”

Listen to him talk about her, and why his fear made him wear shoes to bed:

6. Oliver is bilingual, speaking both French and English.

This is due to the fact he attended Lycee Francais Charles De Gaulles in London.

7. As a teenager, Oliver attended the Youngblood Theatre Company on weekends alongside actresses Carey Mulligan and Imogen Poots.

At the same time, he began going on auditions and washing vases for a florist to financially support himself.

8. He attended the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York for a few months before getting work.

9. His first break was the film “Going the Distance” alongside Drew Barrymore, who personally called the American embassy to get him a work visa. Wow!

10. In 2012, Oliver told Harpers Bazaar that he would like to work alongside and learn from actors like Tom Hardy, Andrew Garfield and Michael Fassbender.

Wait, seriously, can someone make an Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Andrew Garfield movie happen because we NEED that.

11. Sometimes it takes him a while to get a good selfie:

Celebrities, they’re just like us.

12. Oliver first made a splash with American audiences as Luke Crain in Netflix’s “The Haunting of Hill House.”

Here he is alongside fellow Jewish “Hill House” actor Michiel Huisman looking very attractive while eating pizza:

13. He told the Hollywood Reporter “Hill House” was “the most intense experience” he’s ever had while acting.

You can watch the full interview here:

14. Oliver had a very interesting way of describing his experience filming “The Invisible Man”:

“And then I turned up in Australia, and the costume department handed me this green suit. But it was a size that was for like a toddler, and it’s spandex and it expands. So if you can picture it, it’s like someone hands you a condom and says, ‘put that on over your whole body, and make it fit.'”

We will reserve any further commentary at this time, but you can watch the full interview below:

15. In 2020, Oliver starred in Netflix’s “The Haunting of Bly Manor.” Please enjoy this video of him trying to explain things from the ’90s to his child co-star:

16. Also in 2020, people on the internet were desperately trying to get Oliver cast as Moon Knight in the now-released Marvel series.

I don’t understand what a Moon Knight is,” Oliver said in response, but added, “Sign me up!” Alas, they went with Oscar Isaac.

17. In 2021, Oliver was featured in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut “The Lost Daughter“:

Here he is with the cast:

18. In 2022, Oliver will be starring in “Surface,” a show from Apple TV+, alongside Jewish actress Ari Graynor.

Here are some photos he shared on Instagram that have nothing to do with the show because he doesn’t want to get sued:

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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