British actor Charlie Rowe chatted with us ahead of the premiere of his new show Salvation set to air July 12 on CBS.
Rowe previously starred opposite Andrew Garfield in the movie Never Let Me Go and later, had a leading role in the ABC series Red Band Society. In 2016, he acted in a stage play called The Judas Kissopposite Rupert Everett at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Here, the actor talks to us about what viewers can expect to see on Salvation, who his dream co-stars would be, and what he misses most about the UK.
What can viewers expect to see on Salvation? Charlie Rowe: It’s a very thrilling show. It’s high stakes from the get-go. I think if anyone is up for the ride or a roller coaster, then they should watch the show. I think it feels very relevant.
What type of advice have veteran actors like Andrew Garfield and Octavia Spencer, two of your former co-stars, given you? CR: I had a lot of contact with Andrew Garfield while filming Never Let Me Go [Charlie played the younger version of Garfield’s character]. I remember watching the film and watching Andrew Garfield, and I swear to God he ran the exact way that I ran. I remember realizing he had watched me and copied the exact way I ran as a child. That had a very big effect on me. It was great to see him acting, and acting really well. Octavia is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. I was her date to the Academy Awards. She just brought me along; I got a text out of nowhere that said: “Do you want to come to the Oscars?” Yes, of course, I do! She’s amazing. She was always unbelievably welcoming to everyone on set and was nice at all times. I really believe that what goes around comes around. That’s why she got invited to the Oscars two years ago, people like her.
You’ve done some stage work as well as television and movies. Out of the three, which has been your favorite outlet and why? CR: I love film, I’m really trying to focus on film, it’s what I grew up with. I had an amazing experience on stage last year [in The Judas Kiss]. We did it at BAM in New York. I had to get completely naked on stage—I had to snog Rupert Everett on stage. At first, it was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done, but it was creatively liberating. I had such a good time. There’s something about not wearing clothes and being on stage that is a freeing feeling. Each project I do is creatively engaging in every way.
Who is your dream co-star and what is your dream role? CR: I think my dream role would be Mark Wahlberg’s in Boogie Nights. I watched that film recently, and it’s just an unbelievable movie. It’s a brilliant part. I think one of the actors I’d love to work with is unfortunately dead, but James Gandolfini is one of my favorite actors.
The premise of Salvation is essentially that an MIT grad student and a techie discover an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth. If you only had six months to live before an asteroid hit, what would you do in that time? CR: I think I’d set up a six-month music festival that’s never-ending. I’d have it in the UK on a farm somewhere. I’d invite friends and family and everyone, and we'd get loads of people to perform, and we’d just sit in a field and get drunk.
What do you miss about Britain while working in the U.S.? CR: I miss everything! I miss everything; I miss everyone. It’s been a really tough time in the UK, an unbelievably horrible past few months in the UK. Through the Internet, through my mum and friends, I’ve really seen a sense of community, and I miss that. Obviously, there is a huge sense of community in the U.S. and Canada where I’m filming, but I do wish I was home with my family. I’ll tell you what I do miss—the general moodiness of people. There’s a sort of optimism among Canadians and Americans that is so lovely and inspiring to be around. I remember I shot for six months in Atlanta and came back to the UK for a weekend and wanted to buy some shoes with my mum. I walked into the shop and asked the guy if they had a pair of shoes in a size 10. He just looked at me and went “Ugh, fine. Sure.” There was something so lovely and beautiful and British about his reaction. I realized how much I missed that sort of European latency.
Do you have any upcoming projects on the horizon in addition to Salvation? CR: Not as of yet. There’s lots brewing. Salvation has been my life since February, and it will continue to be my life until mid-August. I’m very much focused on this. I have a clothing with a couple friends of mine called “Alcatraz Beach Club,” we’ve got a pop-up shop in London.
What are some of your favorite places to eat, drink or hang out in LA? CR: I stayed in a hotel which was great a couple years ago in Koreatown called The Line. Pine & Crane in Silverlake, great food. I actually haven’t been to LA since I’ve been able to drink. I’ve always had a tough time being able to drink in LA, so I don’t know the spots. My friends and I from the UK went for a steak at Dan Tana’s, and it was utterly hilarious and a very LA experience. It’s just one of those old 50s steakhouses places and my friends, and I went and felt like the Rat Pack.