This week The Wealth List had the opportunity to catch up with Rob Knighton – a man whose career literally took off after a chance situation that almost mirrors the discovery of Harrison Ford by George Lucas. From carpet fitter to male model and movie actor, advertising shoots for a host of global brands, and spending two days playing pool with footballing legend David Beckham (image above) whilst being paid to star in a fashion advertising shoot for H&M.
You have become a very successful model over the past few years, tell us how you got into modelling and your first job?
Yes, things have been going very well thank you. I got into modelling about five years ago, when I was scouted whilst sunbathing in an East London park by two model scouts from The Eye Casting. For the previous thirty years, I had had such a physical job as a carpet fitter, and when this opportunity came up I jumped at it.
The first shoot in my new career was an Editorial for Arena Homme, with renowned photographer Boo George and this led to more bookings for magazine adverts followed by commercials and music videos.
Tell us about the highs and lows of the travel side and what has been your favourite dream location for a shoot since your career started?
There are no real lows with the travelling. It’s only the small things, like the difficulty in keeping a routine with workouts and diet. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many amazing places around the world with work. I especially enjoyed Johannesburg and Venice.
I see you have worked on high profile campaigns with Toyota, Audi and Heineken, did this help you get into acting as well and has this lead into any other different lines of work for you?
Those commercials were my very first experiences of acting. I never dreamt it would lead to four feature films, including a lead role in; Everyone’s Going to Die, a film that won me a Special Jury mention at the Dinard Film Festival in France. The film had a recent cinema release in the UK and is now available On Demand.
What is your personal favourite luxury that you can’t live without?
Well I could live without it but I do enjoy a nice cigar now and again.
Who has inspired you the most in your career and who do you admire?
There are so many inspirational actors to choose from but I would have to say that Marlon Brando is one of my favourites of all time.
You are also a model for the N1 Angel brand in London, influenced by the sartorial evolution of the British male, the brand celebrates the very best of style through the decades, do you have a personal favourite style to wear?
It has been great to meet and work with the team at N1 Angel. The collection is their unique take on “Classic Gents” style which is the look I personally prefer to wear. Although they are a relatively new brand it’s well worth checking out – you can follow them on Twitter @N1Angel_London
What advice would you give to someone wanting to go into modelling?
As someone who was “discovered” as opposed to seeking out a career in the industry it’s tough to give specific advice as such. I will however say it beats fitting carpet!
What has been the hardest part of working in such a fast paced and ever changing industry?
The work can be tiring with all the travel and waiting on set which certainly takes it out of you, but on the whole it’s not hard to be honest.
How did it feel being part of the H&M brand campaign alongside David Beckham?
It was great working with David on the H&M brand. They did such a great job on that commercial. It had a fantastic atmosphere and basically revolved around played pool for two days straight! Such a nice guy to work with and a real professional.
Is there a particular famous brand you want to work with but haven’t as yet?
No specific brands come to mind immediately, but an action-packed fragrance ad would be fun.
As an older gentleman do you think your life experience has given you an edge in the modelling industry?
Life experience helps with modelling as I’ve quickly come to appreciate how easy and lucrative it can be compared to my previous thirty years of hard physical work fitting carpets. With acting I would say life experience is everything. I’ve never had any lessons or acting training, so everything comes from experience.
What is coming up next for Rob Knighton the man, the brand?
It’s such an exciting time for me at the moment with work getting busier all the time. I’m writing this on a plane returning from Helsinki, and tomorrow off to Romania for a TV commercial. Recently I finished filming a part in my fourth feature film, where I played Mordred, a supernatural Druid king in Guy Ritchie’s new film for 2016, Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur.
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