Richard Rowden talks The Haunting of the Tower of London

Following the recent DVD and digital release of British indie horror The Haunting of the Tower of London, we caught up with star Richard Rowden to talk all things supernatural, haunted castles and Dark Temple Motion Pictures.

This is your second feature with Dark Temple, given Werewolf Castle and …Tower of London were filmed back-to-back were you asked to be in both simultaneously?

Well, The Haunting of the Tower of London was the first film I worked with Charlie on, we finished the first block on this film within 3 weeks and had a very large gap of 13 months until we finished off the final scenes of the movie… In that time Charlie asked me if I wanted to play Grimbold in Werewolf castle, He is only at the start of the movie and is a small part but Charlie said I get an epic death so I said yes right away, so for me I was only on Werewolf Castle for one day… Some of the other cast had a much more intense schedule across the two films.

How much of a challenge is that for an actor to flip from two roles so quickly?

For these two it wasn’t too difficult due to Grimbold being a smaller part but what was hard was coming back after 13 months off filming The Haunting of the Tower of London and trying to find Henry again after he had been shelved for so long. Myself and Reece who plays Issac had to go right back to remember how we portrayed these two characters, in my own life a lot had changed since we first started rolling the camera so it was difficult to find those past emotions again.

Henry is quite a complex character, how did you approach playing the role?

He really is complex… It’s hard to find the fine line between the version of himself he wants to be but the version he has become. I and Charlie played around a lot on set with multiple takes playing him in various ways… In one take Charlie would let me play Henry how I saw him (usually very angry), which is great from a director to allow you to play as you see the character, then if he felt it wasn’t right we would do a take with his notes… usually he would tell me to stop being so miserable and make him more approachable! Then he would say ‘Ok! Now one for fun! Do what you like’ Charlie creates great opportunities to explore on set which allows you to discover the character in real time rather than sat at home searching for the character on the page.

I get the feeling you had a lot of fun on set, what can you share about life on-set?

It was hella fun! As we shot in February 2021 for a lot of us this was our first job and opportunity to socialise in a group that wasn’t on zoom since the pandemic hit. We were in a bubble for 3 weeks and none of us wanted to leave and return to our tiny flats to be locked down again. Charlie has worked with most of the cast in this movie multiple times and this was my first time working with him so I was the outsider coming in to disrupt the family, but everyone was so very welcoming and lovely… One of the funny moments on set was the first day I met Reece who plays Issac, he was all pumped and ready to take on this lead role of Issac and Charlie approached him and said ‘The actor playing Mary Fairpoint has dropped out, here is a dress and black paint, you’re playing her now’ It was a funny moment but Reece jumped right to it and did it without question, It really set the tone early on that everyone here will dive right in and do what it takes to make a great movie. So from that point on everyone truly gave it they’re all and followed Charlie into this dark and twisted story..

Which film did you prefer being part of?

Both films are very different, but The Haunting of the Tower of London will always have a place in my heart as it is my first lead role in a movie and I am very proud of what we all achieved.

Were there any performances you refer to when playing Henry Pedrick?

Two I mostly thought of when playing Pedrick were Geralt from the Witcher and Aragorn from Lord of the rings. I’ve always wanted to play a role in a fantasy period piece so this was a great opportunity for me to do that, and those two characters represent two personalities similar to Henry’s… I also put a lot of myself into him to make him unique and real.

What can you tell us about the upcoming short Ortolan?

Ortolan is a movie written by Kate Winter and Directed by Tracy Mathewson… It deals with past trauma’s and the use of mushrooms to unlock memories the brain has kept locked away to protect you. I play a rather vile character who in his younger married days abused his kids… It was such a tough subject matter to deal with that was handled on set with great care, I think the end result will be very impactful and will be discussed alot online.

What is the best part of being in a horror film?

How much fun it can be! I’ve worked on many short films of varying styles but this horror movie was so much fun! You get to scream and run away from monsters, all the while covered in blood and guts… its great fun! You can be big and bold in your acting choices and generally just go nuts! Especially in a Charlie movie when usually it gets batshit crazy… Charlie creates a very open and fun set so even at 3am when is -4 and you’re getting water thrown at you, we still managed to find the fun in the craziness of the situation. We all left a little traumatised but that is what bonds us.

The Haunting of the Tower of London is available now on DVD and digital download.

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