'Skin' trailer: 'Billy Elliot' star Jamie Bell is unrecognisable as a conflicted neo-Nazi

Amy West
Jamie Bell boasts heavy tattoos and a bald head in the first look trailer for upcoming biographical drama ‘Skin’ (A24/YouTube)

Jamie Bell has sure come a long way since he donned those ballet shoes in Oscar-nominated dance drama Billy Elliot. The 33-year-old is almost unrecognisable in the first look trailer for his upcoming film Skin, which sees him play a tatted-up, bald-headed neo-Nazi.

Inspired by a true story, the new movie follows Bell’s Bryon Widner, a White Power supporter who was raised by racist parents in 1970s, committed several hate crimes and went on to become one of the FBI’s most sought after supremacists before reforming in the mid-2000s.

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Judging by the trailer – and the fact it’s reportedly based on the 2012 MSNBC documentary Erasing Hate – Skin will concentrate on the years of Widner’s life where he meets Julie Price (Patti Cake$ breakout Danielle Macdonald) and begins to question whether the destructive path he is currently on is the one he wants to continue to go down. 

“I owe him,” Widner can be heard saying in the clip as he discusses Fred, the man who “took him in.” Julie replies, “I think real family don’t make you owe s**t.”

Skin is the first English-language film from Israeli filmmaker Guy Nattiv – and already, the Oscar-winning writer-director has received praise for creating “a powerful tale of redemption.” In the trailer, movie critic Roger Ebert is quoted saying that the movie “leaves a lasting impression as it peels off a shameful past.”

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One poignant moment in the clip sees Widner call Mike Colter’s political activist Daryle Jenkins – who promises him an out if he agrees to help him take down the organisation he’s a part of – and ask, “What if I take all this stuff off and I’m still a piece of s**t?”

Also starring The Leftovers actor Bill Camp and The Conjuring Universe’s Vera Farmiga, Skin is set to reach US cinemas on 26 July 2019. It is yet to announce to a UK release date.