Q&A with Andew Rowe
Andrew Rowe is a rising star who has appeared in a commercial for Citroen,Channel 4's TV drama Banana, feature films such as Great Expectations and theatre productions like And at Beast. Born in Switzerland, Andrew moved to France as a child where he discovered his passion for acting. In this Q&A, Andrew speaks about the joys of fully immersing himself in his character Tom, unlocking the spiritual dimensions of acting and why he hopes Flatshare will educate people about the dangers of the chemsex scene.
Let’s take it back to the very beginning. How did you get into acting?
I started acting classes when I was about 12, and fell in love with it. From that day I knew that this was the career I wanted to pursue. I went to university and studied Creative Writing and Drama, where I gained a first. Whilst at University I auditioned for a theatre company, got an agent and the ball just kind started rolling from there. It has taken a lot of hard-work and a lot of patience.
What do you most love about acting?
Being able to become a mirror of other people’s lives which I believe might comfort the person watching in knowing that they are not alone in dealing with certain issues.
What are the spiritual dimensions you have unlocked which have changed your relationship with acting?
Ha, good question. The more I embark on self-discovery the more I realise how much it helps me not only in my everyday life, but my acting too. In order to be an actor you must represent a character truthfully - the thing is, even if you’re not a trained actor you know when someone is not “acting” well, why? Because acting is being human, and we all know how to do that. In order to be able to act confidently, you need to know yourself, as a character is merely an extension of yourself.
What attracted you to the character of Tom?
To be honest when I went for the audition I didn’t think I was going to get it. However, the character seemed like someone I could relate to and I knew I had to give it a shot.
What was your experience like on set whilst filming?
It was amazing; I loved absolutely everything about it. Being on set is liking nothing else I’ve experienced. I have heard people say that theatre acting is more rewarding because there is immediate gratification, after the show is over; however, with film acting you are totally immersed in the character for days, exploring and playing. When on set I took full advantage of being able to play around with the character and discovering something new with each take.
How do you hope your character Tom will be received by audiences?
I hope that people see through my character Tom, that those in life that are loud and proud are sometimes the ones that need the most love. I hope that people can identify with the character, and understand why he is the way he is, and find solace in his character. I want people to not judge a book by its cover, and realise that most of us have issues which we hide behind a mask.
The Chemsex scene has had a devastating impact and has changed the way many gay men have sex. Why do you think it’s important that we use TV shows like Flatshare as a vehicle to talk about these issues?
When I talk about Chemsex to people who are straight, or even gay men who don’t really know about the scene, they are shocked. Using a platform like “Flatshare” shows the ugly truth about these parties without judging it. I know a few people that go to these parties, and on the surface they seem fine, but they can quickly get out of hand. Through TV shows like Flatshare we can educate people about the dangers of chemsex parties, and hopefully prevent impressionable men from being coaxed into them.
You are the only actor from the original cast. What made you stay on the project and what do you hope Flatshare will achieve moving forward?
Once things started to move with Flatshare, I knew in my heart that it was a success. It focuses on topical issues like high renting prices for young people, gentrification and LGBTQ+ issues.
The whole process took a while, but we are so focused on having things now, that we lose patience. However, acting and life in general is all about patience - after all “Good things come to those who wait”.
Moving forward I hope that Flatshare builds a following, and that we are able to film a second season. The main aspiration would be that Flatshare gets picked up by a channel like BBC3 or E4. With their backing we would have a much larger budget and a wider range of viewers. After all we create in order to create change.