John Barrowman – the real star of Zero Dark Thirty

Controversial Bin Laden-hunt drama Zero Dark Thirty opens this week. This latest film from Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow has attracted criticism because of its depiction of torture scenes.

But did you know that it also stars John Barrowman?john barrowman


Yes THAT John Barrowman. What’s he doing in a super-serious Oscar-nominated film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, you may ask?

Of course we love John Barrowman for his turn as Captain Jack in Doctor Who and Torchwood. I have been extra fascinated by JB ever since I picked up his autobiography for 99p on a Kindle spesh, and learnt of his penchant for flossing 10 times a day. He acts, he sings, he presents, he flosses. John Barrowman is a true wonder of our times.

I’ve seen a screener of Zero Dark Thirty so here is my guide for those of you going to see it for the Captain Jack action alone. I don’t think this is overly spoilery because you could very easily blink and miss him.

First 1 hour 30 minutes of Zero Dark Thirty= no JB action. Plenty of torture and CIA chin scratching so if that’s not your bag you may want to use this time for a modern dance class or vocal warmups.

1 hour 33 minutes – at last, our hero John Barrowman enters to save the day. Will he disarm Bin Laden by judicious application of jazz hands and a show tune?

Alas not, all he does in this scene is lurk in the background of a meeting. He plants his hands in his pockets in a powerful way and rocks back and forth on his feet a little, as if he’s wishing there was a dance number to join in with.

john barrowman zero dark thirty



13 mins later, at 1 hour 46 minutes in, he’s back! And this time he’s got some lines. First of all he sits at a desk looking moody and possibly slightly flatulent:john barrowman in zero dark thirty



Then he strides manfully down a corridor, before bracing himself for a swear word that never would’ve been allowed on Doctor Who:

zero dark thirty john barrowman


Both of his lines in this scene support CIA agent Maya, played by Jessica Chastain, who had been leading the hunt for Bin Laden but had also been demoted to sitting at the back of the room status. Thus Barrowman can now add Heroic Feminist Supporter of Women to his portfolio of skillage.

Maya’s character later goes on to save the day, proving that, like so many things in this universe and beyond, IT WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT JOHN BARROWMAN.

Of course, the other interpretation is that he’s not really playing CIA spook Jeremy in Zero Dark Thirty, it’s really Captain Jack in deep cover as Torchwood assist in the hunt for Bin Laden.

john barrowman captain jack


Of course, it all makes perfect sense now.