Owen Phillips joined the cast of CBBC’s The Dumping Ground in Series 10, playing new regular character Wes Oldfield alongside a cast including Sarah Rayson as Floss, Cole Wealleans-Watts as Jay and Ruben Reuter as Finn. Having worked on short films, most recently, Owen played the titled character in Louis the Great, with the film winning the LGBTQIA+ Voices Award at the Mansfield Town Film Festival, and he previously played Mushy in Youthless for Channel 4 and Young Charlie in The Phoenix of Gloucester. Further TV projects for Owen have included guest-starring this year as Davey Milbury in Casualty, playing Katherine Kelly’s son Sackville Sutherland in Series 2 of Gentleman Jack, and filming for Dodger, All Creatures Great and Small and My Mum Tracy Beaker. Also, Owen has worked on a number of commercials such as Nintendo, Asda and The Sun’s You’re All Invited Euros advert, which was shown at half-time in an England game. For Owen’s training, he attends drama classes at Articulate, and got into acting after appearing on Judge Rinder Kids Christmas Special. Chatting with us, Owen told us about joining The Dumping Ground as Wes Oldfield, being part of a popular CBBC show and filming for Gentleman Jack.
How was it joining the cast of The Dumping Ground in Series 10 and finding out you’d booked the role of new regular character Wes Oldfield?
Joining the cast of The Dumping Ground was amazing. Everyone is super nice and my agent Stacey from Articulate surprised me by coming to my house to tell me that I had the role for Wes Oldfield. I was so happy!
Had you seen The Dumping Ground before auditioning and was there anything that drew you to the show?
I had watched a few episodes before I got the audition and I really liked the character Jay as I felt like I was similar to him as I love football and that’s all Jay did. When I met him when I got the job, he was so kind and he was like an older version of me in real life, it made my day!
How would you describe Wes and what is he like to play?
I love playing Wes. He is so kind, polite and generous and he loves his cup of tea and plants. Wes is an old-fashioned kind of lad as he got brought up by his grandparents but they sadly had to give him to a care home, The Dumping Ground, because his grandma got dementia and they couldn’t look after him anymore.
What do you remember from your first day on set of The Dumping Ground?
I met all the new cast and crew and we all got to know each other and became friends from day one. Everyone was so nice and I found out that everyone was from different areas of England.
How do you find the experience working alongside the rest of the cast and filming as a regular character for a hugely-popular CBBC series?
It is really something special to be a part of The Dumping Ground, and when I am on set, I feel very privileged to be on such an amazing show. I got to go to the BAFTAs and that was a moment of my life that I will cherish forever.
Can you tell us about the new short film Louis the Great, in which you play the titled role, and what was it like to film?
Louis the Great was a really good film to do. I got to show another side of my acting and be part of something that helps people in the LGBTQIA+ community.
How was it having Louis the Great win the LGBTQIA+ Voices Award at the Mansfield Town Film Festival and what was the event like to attend?
It was amazing to be part of the team that won this award. The best thing was going on the red carpet and meeting the Mayor. I met up with Robert Pattinson’s stuntman from The Batman and seeing the film on a cinema screen really made my night.
What was it like playing Mushy in the Channel 4 short film Youthless?
I loved playing Mushy. I got to play an older character and expand my acting and have fun with it, it helps me build a different side to my acting and I got to work alongside Austin Haynes and Scarlett and make our characters come to life and pop and we really smashed it. It was so much fun.
What was it like guest-starring in Casualty earlier this year as Davey Milbury and what was your storyline like to work on?
It was the best experience staying in Wales for a few weeks. I got to bring another side of my acting to life when I had to pretend to be unconscious and have fake blood and wires on me. I worked with some amazing actors who gave me great advice and I even picked up some medical tricks on the way!
How was it playing Young Charlie in the 2022 short film The Phoenix of Gloucester?
It was a great experience working with Hollywood actors and a BAFTA-winning director, it helped me bring another side to my acting and I had to use my RP accent. I loved the set and all the smoke and special effects to make the room I filmed in look older.
Last year, you appeared in Series 2 of Gentleman Jack as Sackville Sutherland, what was the series like to be part of?
This was epic. I loved playing Katherine Kelly’s son and getting to work with Suranne Jones and so many amazing actors. I had my own car to take me to and from set and they make such nice food. These actors were all about having fun and making it a nice environment to work in. I had to learn a Scottish accent for this role.
How was your time on set of Dodger, All Creatures Great and Small and My Mum Tracy Beaker?
It was a whole lot of fun. I got to dress up and have makeup and my teeth done on Dodger and it was so good to be part of something based on Oliver Twist. All Creatures was good. It made me feel like I had been sent back in time. I love how they make the snow. I got to ride a bike and be in a fight scene on My Mum Tracy Beaker.
We understand you’ve worked on commercials, can you tell us about some of the ones you’ve filmed?
I have worked for Nintendo promoting the Big Brain Academy game. I travelled to Bucharest and it was exciting to go to a new country, try the foods and make new friends. The Asda Christmas ice skating commercial was great. I got to work with Dan Whiston and Christopher Dean. I love ice skating as I used to skate for the GB synchro team so it was so good to work with an idol. The Sun You’re All Invited Euros advert was another dream as I love football and I was on the same campaign as José Mourinho. My advert aired at half-time of the England game – that was the coolest thing ever. One of the greatest tournaments in the world.
How did you get into acting and was it something you always wanted to do?
I went on Judge Rinder Kids Christmas Special and Harry Kane sent me a video message and he gave me a signed shirt, and I was like, ‘he knows my name’. I was so excited acting on the show and thought, ‘this is what I want to do’. I also got to meet Judge Rinder’s dog. I then started going to drama classes on a Saturday at Articulate and I met Stacey, who is the best agent ever and taught me so much and got me loads of work.
What are some of your favourite films and TV shows to watch and how do you like to spend your free time?
I love all Marvel especially Spider-Man, The Dumping Ground (of course), Jamie Johnson, and football or basketball films. I play football in my free time and like to spend time with my family and friends.
Do you have any projects coming up that you can share and what are you hoping the upcoming months bring for you?
I have some self-tapes to be getting on with for various different roles so fingers crossed. I would love to feature in a film in the upcoming months and my dream is to work with Tom Holland or Tom Cruise as they’re funny and great actors. My football idol is Bukayo Saka. He’s an A Star student and an idol and I do want to meet him and do keepie-uppies with him.
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