Phillip Forest Lewitski

📷 : © Benjo Arwas

In the multi-award-winning Hulu independent film Wildhood, Phillip Forest Lewitski stars as Link, with Bretten Hannam’s film premiering last year at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it will be released in the UK on September 2nd. Upcoming projects for Phillip include Masters of the Air, in which he plays Lt. Francis Harper, and Bones of Crows as Adam Whallach. Phillip had his first TV regular role playing Apollo 4 across all episodes of Utopia Falls, and he played We’jitu in Vikings, and he was announced as one of the TIFF Rising Stars in 2021. We talked to Phillip about playing Link in Wildhood, his upcoming projects – Masters of the Air and Bones of Crows and his time playing Apollo 4 in Utopia Falls.

Can you tell us about the Hulu independent film Wildhood, in which you play Link?

Wildhood is a story about life. How messy, confusing and lonely it can feel at times. It’s a story about no matter how much hope you seemingly feel like you’ve lost, there is always a way to get out of that darkness as long as you follow the truth of who you are.

What was the character like to play and how did you prepare for working on the project?

Link is very complex. I guess we all are in our own way. I just felt really connected to him, like I knew who he was and what he had been through. What helped the most was also connecting with the other cast. Getting to know them on a deep level, trusting each other and making a pact to always be honest no matter what. There were some physically and mentally exhausting days but we got through it because we knew we could lean on each other.

How was it having the film premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival?

My whole family flew down for the premiere, which was really a dream come true. They are the reason I do this at all so to have them all by my side going through this thing was the most I could have ever wished for.

Who do you think Wildhood will appeal to and why would you recommend watching it on Hulu?

Speaking to people who have seen it really made me realise that no matter who you are or where you come from, something or someone in this story will resonate with you. I think that’s what’s so beautiful about Bretten Hannam’s writing. They have this ability to pull you in and open you up to things buried deep inside.

How was it being part of the cast and do you have any stand-out highlights from working on the film?

There were many stand-out highlights from working on this film. What made it so special was that every person on that set was hand-picked and interviewed before they were brought on. The producers wanted to make sure everyone was in alignment when it came to this common goal of telling this story in the purest way possible.

What has it been like seeing the film’s success with wins and nominations and do you know what upcoming international release plans there are?

It has been a very special experience. Hearing other people’s stories and struggles and experiences has been life-changing, honestly. Wildhood will be having its UK theatrical release on September 2, 2022.

📷 : © Benjo Arwas

What are you looking forward to for the upcoming release of Masters of the Air, and how was it to work on?

Masters of the Air tells the story of people who literally gave everything for what they believed in. It was truly an honour to tell Lt. Francis Harper’s story. The cast was really just a big family and I feel like that’s exactly what it had to be during these times at war.

Is there anything you can say about working on Bones of Crows?

I found lifelong friendships on Bones of Crows. I learned a lot about myself and just life in general. I’m just now starting to see the teachings that took place without me even knowing it at the time.

How was the experience filming as We’jitu in Vikings?

I was a long way from home and sometimes it’s in those places that you really grow as a person. I know that’s what happened for me. I was so inspired by the other actors and working with those directors. It was all pretty overwhelming but I loved it to bits.

You play Apollo 4 across all episodes of Utopia Falls, can you tell us about your character and the series?

Apollo is a very heartstrong, loyal friend. He’s soft but hard as diamonds when it comes to the things or people he believes in. Dance, music, friendship and adventure is Utopia Falls. I met music producers and artists I’ve looked up to and listened to all my life so that was pretty cool.

How was it having Apollo 4 as your first TV regular character?

I grew up surrounded by music. If there wasn’t a piano going loud, there was a violin upstairs or a guitar syncing up with it. Apollo loves music just as much as I do. To be able to combine passions like that was awesome.

📷 : © Benjo Arwas

How did it feel being announced as one of the TIFF Rising Stars for 2021?

It was a mix of emotions. I had a lot of personal things going on in my life at that time and so to get this news, this honour, was just amazing in all ways possible.

Where does your love of performing come from and how did you start?

My mother put me in theatre when I was pretty young. I was given this role that had a lot of dialogue. I was stressed but worked so hard on it. The day we opened, I forgot half my lines. The feeling of being up on that stage obviously surpassed the embarrassment that came with forgetting everything in front of everyone.

How do you like to spend your time away from your career?

Music, music, music and painting. I love playing the violin, piano and bass.

Do you have any favourite films and TV shows to watch?

I love Anime. Some of my favorites are Death Note, Sword Art Online, Kakegurui, all of the Studio Ghibli feature films.

What are you hoping the next year brings for your career?

I guess I always just hope to tell stories that have an impact on people but mostly I just take it one day at a time really. Usually, life is so cool, like something will come around that just feels right for that time in my life.

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Categories: Film & TV, home, Interview

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