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Jack Rowan: "Growing up, my ultimate hero was Rey Mysterio"

Jack Rowan is an actor going places. He tells us about his multiple new roles, his childhood hero Rey Mysterio and his beloved old rucksack – as well as the contents of his shopping list. Frozen chips. Strong 

Jack Rowan

Jack Rowan is one of our most exciting young actors, starring in the likes of Peaky Blinders, Noughts + Crosses and the upcoming movie Boys From County Hell. 

Yet for all his success, Rowan understands the importance of never relinquishing his inner child. Indeed he still occasionally plays with his old collection of WWE Action Figures (including his childhood hero Rey Mysterio. Man knows his wrestling). 

"I always justify it in my brain because I can claim it as a good tool to practise different accents," says Rowan, none-too convincingly. "You know, because I’m an actor and all that…" 

It's a lovely mentality, and almost makes us forgive the lad for being a West Ham fan. Almost. 

Life

What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?

All of them! I have a movie I lead called Boys From County Hell which is out in August. It was an absolute honour to be apart of this film and I made countless memories on and off screen. I can’t help but giggle and grin when I come across old pictures and videos from the shoot. Also, my old man’s Irish so it was extra special to be able to take an accent I’ve heard my whole life and put it out there on screen.

After Boys From County Hell is series three of the children’s animation Moominvalley. I’ve been given the opportunity to take over as the new voice of Moomintroll. This job came around after the first Covid lockdown.

I know I’m far from unique when it comes to personal battles in my head

I know I’m far from unique when it comes to personal battles in my head, but at a time where I really needed it, Moomintroll came soaring down with a message of hope and gave me my inspiration and confidence back. I’ll always be thankful to him and all of those people that made it possible, so I’m extremely excited to hear my voice come of his mouth.

Lastly, as I’m writing this, I’m in South Africa filming season two of Noughts and Crosses. I hold the show and the character of Callum McGregor very close to my heart, so being able to continue Callum’s journey is a huge blessing. I’m proud of everyones hard work in series two so far and I can’t wait for it to be out in the world for all to see.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment? 

My proudest professional accomplishment is simply landing my first job! There was a point in time where I was at my Saturday drama class and it clicked. I realised I wanted to be an actor but what came after that was a whole load of battles and questions. How do I go from being in this hall to actually being in the TV box?!

Thankfully YPTC (my drama class) got me a self tape audition and after two further auditions, the Silent Witness team took a risk on me and it seemed to pay off. The confidence I got from landing, filming and completing that job has been the catalyst for all that’s followed.

If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be? 

A short and sweet cliche…NOTHING.

Jack Rowan

What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?

I hope to one day look back at a body of work and say that I’ve had the opportunity to play many vastly different characters. I’ve done it as much as I can so far but with being relatively early on in my career there’s only so much I’ve had the opportunity to do.

As I grow as a person and actor, hopefully there’s a chance to explore some weird and wonderful character’s down the line. I don’t quite know what they are yet!

Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?

Growing up, my ultimate hero was Rey Mysterio, at the time I’m sure my simple mind just liked him because of his masks, colourful attire and exciting high flying style. However, I write this now as an adult and realise it was so much more.

He was the little guy that never backed down from a challenge, he taught me in his own way that there is no such depth to which we can’t recover and no matter how big the obstacle is in front of us we should never be afraid.

You’ll get there, be true to yourself and do things your way, dare to be great and give anything in life that’s causing you stress or worry a swift 619, cheers Rey!

Tell us something nobody knows about you... 

Following on from the theme of my last answer I have a very fruitful collection of WWE Action Figures because they were literally the only thing I ever wanted growing up and I’ve kept them all to this day. I have your man Rey Mysterio in many different outfits!

Every now and then I whip them out and give them a move around and release my inner child. I always justify it in my brain because I can claim it as a good tool to practise different accents…you know, because I’m an actor and all that…

Jack Rowan
Jack Rowan

Style

What’s your favourite item of clothing – and what does it mean to you? 

I’d say my West Ham 2002/03 away shirt, In recent years I’ve been collecting old West Ham shirts and this particular one was always on the top of my list.

It means a lot to me because apart from being an immensely beautiful pinstripe delight, it was also the first away strip I ever owned and I have countless memories of being on my old man’s shoulders, strolling down Green Street and into the old Boleyn Ground proudly wearing it.

If you ever come drinking in the park with me I come with a complementary cooler

My Mum kept all of my old shirts growing up but without fail every time I looked at the tiny aforementioned shirt I wore as a five year old it was met with sadness because I had to accept that I was an adult and it no longer fits.

Nonetheless, I eventually got my hands on a mint condition original with ‘Cole No.26’ on the back thrown in for good measure. Get in!

Favourite accessory – watch / jewellery / etc – and why is it special to you?

I’ve never been one to wear jewellery to be honest but don’t worry I have an answer for this question. If you ever come drinking in the park with me I come with a complementary cooler, I realised this role post lockdown when pubs were still shut.

Firstly, I’m not one that likes warm beer and secondly with the sun blazing and public toilets still shut at the time, we needed to find good spots (near a wholesome set of bushes) where we could just sit and relax. I’d like to think a huge part of that relaxation was knowing that at any time you could reach into my cooler and grab yourself a nice cold refreshing beverage.

So yeah that’s my favourite accessory, a lightweight cooler.

What items do you take on holiday and why?

Suncream is by far the most important item for myself although I could count on one hand how many times I’ve actually purchased some. Clearly I have good people around me because they’re always there to lend a helping hand.

There are two things that are absolutely guaranteed when I go on holiday, one being that someone will insist that its very hot and I need suncream on to which I agree and oblige.

Then the other being I fail to reapply after that and find myself red raw laying on my bed at the end of the day slathered in aloe vera.

Jack Rowan
Jack Rowan

Is there an item you threw away – or lost – that you really miss?

I get quite attached to items especially if I feel like they’ve been with me through things.

One that comes to mind is an old rucksack of mine, it was with me through many highs and lows and wherever I went you best believe it was on my back. We went from school halls to audition rooms to backpacking around Europe and then eventually all to way to LA together.

Unfortunately I bought too many things while I was out there and had to leave a number of items behind, my beautiful but battered rucksack being one of them. We had a nice moment together and I said thank you for always being there with me, I left it propped up in a place where I hope someone picked it up and continued its journey.

If that rucksack ever reads this…I love you bud!

What’s next on your shopping list?

I’m away in South Africa at the moment and as I write this there’s a post it note with my shopping list on it and the items range between clingfilm and frozen chips, yet I’m guessing this is a question about what clothing is next on my shopping list?!

In that case, when I get back to England I’m going to buy a big winter coat, the kind that could be seen at the top of Mount Everest.

What would you buy if money was no object?

I find this question difficult because I’m immediately drawn to thinking of things that are in some way meaningful or at least beneficial to more people that just myself.

Nonetheless, I’m going to keep it casual so if money were no object I would buy myself a jet-ski. I just simply love jet-skis!

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Boys From County Hell is out 6 August

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