You may know cool actor
M i c h a e l
R o w e
for his portrayal as the DC Comics' antihero Deadshot from The CW
hit television series Arrow, but there is a lot more to Michael than meets the eye...
Well, the eye 'without' the laser eye patch, that is...
Michael Rowe is a multi-faceted, creatively talented guy, who not only shines as an actor, but also marches to the beat of his own drumming! That's right. Rowe is a musician who spent the early half of his life writing songs and playing drums for his post-harcore punk band Bucket Truck. The man even shared the stage with epic bands like NOFX, Slayer, Fishbone and D.O.A. How's that for cool?
At first glance, you can see right away that Michael Rowe has that certain something that instantly captures your full attention. His striking gaze and rugged bone structure bares a unique blended resemblance somewhere between a young Jim Caviezel, a hint of Jake Gyllenhaal, and a bit of some of that Eric Roberts roughness, which gives him a charisma that cannot be denied. His personality is engaging, charming and down to earth - and he certainly knows how to make an entrance in any scene he is in. Michael Rowe is hard to ignore once he catches your eye.
Rowe, a native of St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, recently teamed up with his filmmaker brother Andrew Rowe to make their very own feature-length film, a powerful, new crime drama titled Crown And Anchor, a film that takes a raw look at the effects of childhood trauma, through the eyes of two estranged cousins. Rowe's performance as the troubled police officer James Downey is greatly intense and quite impressive. He has put a lot of love and energy into this character and it shows.
Cool Magazine recently had the awesome chance to chat with Michael all about his new film, his music and of course his iconic role as Arrow's Deadshot!
Read ahead to get to know just a little more about this totally cool guy!
We heard that before you started acting, you were actually in a band (which is really cool, by the way) Could you give us a little backstory on how you got from music to acting?
"Yeah, I played drums and wrote songs in a band called Bucket Truck. Matt Wells, who plays Danny in Crown and Anchor, was the singer. We dropped out of University to do music pretty much full-time for many years. Best decision I ever made. But “stay in school” kids! Anyway, when the band broke up I was kinda lost. I was living on the east coast of Canada. I decided to give away all my stuff (including my drum set) except for what I could fit in my truck and I drove coast to coast to Vancouver. My brother Andrew was there starting his film career. He was mostly focused on writing at that time and had ideas for some short films and comedy sketches. We started filming stuff and it was so much goddamn fun! It was all I wanted to do. It kinda became my new band. I started working in Film and TV just as background and I did some photo doubling. After doing some acting classes I was able to get an agent. The second audition I went to was for a new TV show called Arrow. I booked it."
Your latest release "Crown and Anchor" will be your debut feature film with your filmmaker brother Andrew - What can you tell us about your character and what is it like teaming up with your brother on a project like this?
"That’s an extremely complicated question. It was simultaneously the easiest and hardest thing I’ve ever done. Working with my brother has an ease to it. We’re a good team. I’ve worked with him on more film projects than I have with anyone else. There’s a sense of trust with him that I don’t feel with other directors. He’s the one who got me interested in acting and he’s by far the most talented and knowledgeable person I’ve ever met when it comes to film. But the road to getting the opportunity to make Crown and Anchor felt almost impossible at times. Man, making a movie is really, really hard!... Hahaha. I honestly wasn’t prepared for how difficult it was going to be. Matt and I produced the project as well, along with super producer Vince Buda. Vince saved our asses on more than one occasion."
"Playing the character of James Downey was also very challenging. James is extremely damaged from his childhood. He’s not comfortable showing any emotions except for occasional outbursts of uncontrollable rage. Stuffing all that emotion down deep and trying to hide it from the camera while it bubbles under the surface was a difficult process. Also, being still in front of the camera is a lot tougher than you’d think. You’re always worried that you’re not doing enough. But that’s exactly how the character needed to be. It was the trust that I had in Andrew as a director and as my brother that got me through the process. All that being said, I honestly can’t wait to do it all over again on the next project. It’s slightly masochistic."
You played the totally cool character of mercenary Floyd Lawton who becomes master sniper, assassin Deadshot in the CW television series Arrow (and The Flash). Your version of this character is an obvious fan favorite. Looking back now, how can you say the whole experience changed you? And what was the coolest thing about playing such a dark character who had a lot of heart underneath it all?
"Floyd was a fun character to play. You can break a lot of rules playing a character like that. It’s very freeing. Floyd allows you to remove your filter and do and say all the things that people think about but don’t act on. I learned a lot playing Floyd. When you play a villain, it’s important to find out why? What happened to him to send him down that villainous path? You can’t just view him as born bad. That’s boring. Floyd was a really sad and self-hating dude because he accidentally shot and killed his brother when he was a kid. He was lost and lonely and he kept torturing himself by recreating that shooting over and over again and becoming an assassin. He thought that’s what he deserved. He’s a tragic figure. And of course he covers all of it up by wisecracking and making fun of everything and everyone. It was also a very physical role. I learned a lot about stunts, fight choreography and using weapons. There’s a real art form to keeping everything safe on set while making it look extremely dangerous on camera."
Do fans ever come up to you, still recognizing you as Deadshot?
"Rarely, but sometimes. Recently it happened while I was renting a tuxedo."
What would you say were some of the greatest films that have changed your life?
"Back To The Future, Point Break, Reservoir Dogs, Raising Arizona, Jackass: The Movie."
What are the best 3 words that would describe you?
"Rowdy Roddy Piper"
Who are some of your major musical influences, and what new music are you listening to these days?
"The first album I remember being captivated by was KISS Destroyer. I would stare at the art work while listening to it. I was probably 5 or 6 years old. I didn’t know if these creatures on the cover were men, women, monsters, clowns… but they could shred. Too bad that Gene Simmons got his own TV show and I found out how much of a douchebag he is. The first show I went to was The Beach Boys. I guess I was about the same age. It was amazing! Then I started getting into heavier music. Early Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, Body Count, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, Faith No More, Slayer, Quicksand, Refused, The Pogues. After starting my own band I really got into the first wave of Hardcore Punk music. I realized that this music was what a lot of my favorite musicians probably grew up being influenced by. It was the source. Bands like Black Flag, Fugazi, Bad Brains, Misfits, Minor Threat. The search for new music has led me to bands like Metz, Dope Body, Pissed Jeans, Double Dagger, PUP, King Tuff, Cerebral Ballzy, Fidlar."
Any plans to continue on with your music in the coming future?
"No solid plans, but I’ve got the itch. We’ll see. I’ll always feel like a musician who acts, not an actor who plays music."
What's next, now that you have completed Crown and Anchor? Anything you would like to let your fans know that might be coming up for you?
"I’ve got some stuff happening, but nothing I can talk about yet unfortunately. The thing I’m most eager to do is another project with the Crown and Anchor team. We made that film outta nothing. Very little money. All guts and hard work. I want to show what we can make with a slightly bigger budget."
And finally - What's your definition of cool?
"I dunno. But I’m pretty sure that if you think you are, or you’re trying really hard to be….You’re probably not."
We sure hope to see more of Michael Rowe in the near future! But for now don't forget to check out his cool new film Crown And Anchor now available on DVD and digital - and if you haven't seen Rowe's portrayal of DC's Deadshot yet,
catch up with past episodes of The CW's Arrow
on The CW Channel or Netflix!
- By M & J Shepherd