Interview: Charlie Rowe

From the interview archives.

English actor Charlie Rowe recently made his off broadway debut and stars in the new sci-fi drama Salvation. VULKAN caught up with Charlie to talk about his experience on the set, working alongside Jacqueline Beyers and whether or not he’s been sucked into any conspiracy theories. 

Let’s talk about Salvation. You play a super smart MIT student (Liam) that discovers an asteroid is heading for Earth. What attracted you to this role? 

I think after Brexit and Trump, I very much felt like it was the end of the world. So when I read this script, and I looked at Liam, a young guy who has discovered that the world could be ending in six months, I related to that feeling of despair and danger. Salvation felt relevant and poignant. Also, I live with three physicists, well, there are six of us in the house, but three of them are astrophysicists, like Liam. Part of me liked the idea, the possibility of combining my housemates and creating Liam.

Were you really interested in sci-fi/space when you auditioned?

Not particularly. I like some Sci-Fi movies but I wouldn’t call it my favorite genre. I never really liked science in school. Never warmed up to it. But my housemates did a good job at getting me up to speed. They gave me a long reading list. I don’t think I got through them all though….

Is Liam more of a neurotic character or is he calm, cool and collected in the face of this danger?

I think Liam is neurotic. He’s spent the past couple of years studying at University and then all of a sudden, he’s working with billionaires and military men. Anyone who is shoved into the deep end that quickly would be neurotic, I think. 

You co-star alongside Jacqueline Beyers, what was that experience like?

Jackie is gold. It is a pleasure working with her. Scenes are such a joy to be in when she’s there. Also, Jackie is a Toronto local, which is where we shot, so she gave me a long list of stunning places for food, music and so on.

Were you any sort of conspiracy theorist before filming this show, and if not, has that changed at all?

I’ve never been an avid conspiracy theorist, however, I have sat on YouTube for hours watching them. I’m reminded of how little we, the public, know every time I turn on the news or see politicians say, anything. I like how our show stays true to that.

What’s the coolest thing you learned about space while filming?

We had a real meteor on set one day. It was unbelievably heavy. My arms still hurt.

If you knew you only had 6 months before “impending doom” – how would you, Charlie, spend that time and who would you want to be with? 

I would move to Greece with my girlfriend, family and friends. Hopefully they want to, and start a band. And just play music in flip flops for six months. Not just flip flops. We’d all wear normal clothes, but we’d also be in flip flops.

How would you sum up the Salvation filming experience as a whole?

Brilliantly exhausting.

Was there anything about filming that was particularly challenging for you?

Well, I have found being so far away from home and family for such a long amount of time challenging. I experience agonizing homesickness.

What was the first role or type of character you ever wanted to portray, the one that made you really think you wanted to act?

I remember being fifteen and, instead of revising and studying, I would watch and re-watch The Sopranos. James Gandolfini is one the first actors I remember having a seriously dramatic effect on me. I adore him, I adore that role – I adore him in that role.

You made your off-Broadway debut last year, do you have an aspiration to more theatre?

Yes. I’d love to do more. I’m trying to focus on cameras at the minute, but I have an attachment to the stage. If I had the opportunity to, I would.

You post weekly playlists for your fans to hear what you’re listening to. What song or album are you borderline obsessed with at the moment?

Yes, follow the playlist “inthestudio” on Spotify. I just spent all morning listening to “Take a Picture” by Margo Guryan. An album of sixties honey. Also, “City Music” by Kevin Morby is a great new release.

Describe your personality in just one or two words?

Nervous Wreck.

Would you recommend more people get involved with acting, even just as a hobby? Why or why not?

God no! There’s already enough competition. 

 If you are deeply drawn to acting, then you should act, even just as a hobby. Anywhere you can.

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