As the long-suffering Dave Clements, husband of Rose in the new feature film Whoops! - currently doing the rounds in UK cinemas and international festivals and about to get its red carpet York premiere - Phil Rowson makes his feature film debut but is no stranger to acting, having worked in various TV roles since 2000.
Having had to go to drama school to get an Equity card, ("Which at that time you had to have, in order to work" says Rowson), the actor learned the craft and met some of his best friends in the interim. "I wouldn’t change anything, even though I would say I’ve been around the block in the last decade."
By ‘around the block’, the actor means a steady career comprised of stints in Heartbeat, Holby City, Emmerdale, Waterloo Road, Shameless, Corrie and more recently, Hollyoaks and Lewis. He’s also currently filming The Musketeers out in Prague. "I’m not in it much but there’s a lot of swashbuckling and camaraderie so it’s a cracking job."
So how does TV acting compare to feature films? "I don’t really have a particularly favourite form of acting, I just enjoy working. It’s a commodity in itself when you see how many actors are out of work."
When the script for Whoops! fell across his desk, Phil was keen to be involved, partly to make the leap from TV to features and partly as he loved the story and character of Dave. His agent, however, discouraged him. "He actually advised me against doing Whoops! He didn’t like it and said, ‘It’s not for you’. I read it and completely disagreed with him and did it anyway. I’m not with him anymore and in fact because of Whoops! I have a fantastic new agent and I haven’t been out of work this year. And that is directly from Whoops!"
Just remember, people who tell you they know better don't necessarily do. If it feels right, do it!
The actor was actually the only one the filmmakers saw for the role of Dave. "We’d already cast Elaine as Rose and the two kids, so Dave had to look like he could be part of their family," says Co-director Miles Watts, "so as it went, we saw Phil very late in the process and not only was he handsome, he made us laugh and cry and just totally nailed it."
Rowson now considers York "a very special place to me with wonderful new friends. Life couldn’t be better. Especially as I now have my little newborn son Albie, who will obviously star in Whoops! Episode 7…"
In fact, Rowson will be starring in further productions from film companies MilesTone Films and Heavy Elephant Ltd, joint producers behind the creation of Whoops! Producer Sam Robinson: "Phil is one of those actors who ticks a lot of boxes: he’s versatile, hardworking and fun. And yes, handsome. We’re looking forward to working with him many more times in the future."