Ex-carpet fitter shoots to fame as a model and actor

Rob Knighton

Rob Knighton - Credit: Archant

From a 30-year career fitting carpets to walking down the iconic ‘red carpet’ as a model and actor, it has been quite a journey for Rob Knighton.

The 55-year-old was scouted five years ago in London Fields to appear in a television advert – a move which catapulted him into starring alongside David Beckham in H&M’s latest campaign for the footballer’s Modern Essentials collection and securing a lead role in an award-winning film.

Rob, who lives in Brick Lane, Shoreditch, said: “After the advert I got an agent and started to get a lot of modelling work. I ended up going on to more movie stuff and music videos, as well as commercials and short films.”

After eight months, Rob was offered the lead role in Everyone’s Going to Die, an independent comedy with a romantic twist.

It has been screened to audience acclaim at festivals across the world, and following a successful crowd-funding campaign it will now be released in cinemas in the UK.

Rob said: “The whole feel of it was amazing. As it was an indie there was this really good vibe of everybody wanting to be there and to get it done.

“I was quite new to it so it was a challenge but I did like the fact there was this dry humour in the script. I never thought I would be doing a comedy but this has got some amazing writing – really funny, dry humour – and what wouldn’t I like about being offered a lead role?”

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He added: “It’s fantastic because obviously with no acting training, you always wonder how it is going to be received. And it’s doing well, with incredible reviews for me. That really gives you more confidence to carry on and hopefully it’s all going in the right direction.”

Rob has also worked on some bigger films recently, including a new King Arthur epic by Guy Ritchie, playing Mordred the Druid King.

He is signed to Next Models and was able to use his acting and modelling skills simultaneously earlier this year, playing Beckham’s nemesis in a game of pool in a fashion film for H&M.

He said: “David was lovely. Just what you see of him on TV is exactly what you get: a nice guy, very professional and bloody good at pool.

“We spent two days walking round a pool table staring each other out. I already had a day with a pool professional teaching me the choreography of the game and we had a spare table to practise on.

“The second day David came in and every time he pointed to shoot, he potted the ball. Even at the end there is a trick shot. The director would cut and just for the hell of it he took the shot and potted the black but it wasn’t a fluke – he did it three times.”

Rob continued: “It would be fun to do an action type movie involving fast cars and amazing locations but it’s early days and I feel quite positive about the future.”