Crouch End schoolboy lands role in hit film

CROUCH End teenager Charlie Rowe plays the younger version of Andrew Garfield’s character Tommy. The North Bridge House pupil, whose previous films include The Golden Compass, said it was inspirational to work alongside Garfield.

“Andrew is one of my idols now. He is such a lovely person. He has all these things going for him yet he is completely grounded and never mentions anything about his career – it’s all about you and how you are doing.

“Carey also spent a lot of time on set with us – she’s lovely and very down to earth.”

Asked whether he resembles the Spiderman and Social Network star, Rowe is not convinced.

“My mum thinks I look very like him but I definitely don’t look as close as the girls do to Carey and Keira.”

He adds: “Andrew and I studied each other in rehearsals to make our performances into one. I tried to link some mannerisms as well as the way we approached the character. We talked about bringing an innocence to Tommy. He has experienced this closed life in a school and is very vulnerable but also has big anger management problems.”

The 14-year-old hails from a family of performers. “My whole family is in the business and I have grown up around drama and acting – my dad’s an actor and presenter. My parents got me involved in after-school clubs and acting, singing and dancing classes, I got asked to join a children’s agency and it went from there.”

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Rowe has also appeared in seasonal children’s ballet The Snowman and this year spent three months filming Sky’s feature-length Peter Pan prequel Neverland, playing the boy who never grows up alongside Rhys Ifans and Bob Hoskins.

“It does take me out of school quite a bit but you still have to do school work while on set,” he says.

The young actor, who tries to stay in touch with the incredibly busy Garfield via email, says the star offered him invaluable advice to take into future roles.

“He advised me to get into character by taking five minutes before you go on, to zone into your role and step into their shoes. You have to shut out everything and become the character. I really took that concentration into my most recent role in Neverland.”

And although Rowe finds it “strange and horrible” to see himself on screen, he’s learned to deal with it. “You get used to it and you stop criticising yourself. When I watched Never Let Me Go, I cried because it was so emotional and well done – it’s a beautiful film.”