Phil Sealey tought us how to prepare the sexiest and bearest breakfast. Phil is the Papa Bear or the porridge masterchef and, according to the sexy marketing campaign of Rowse Homey, he has his winter survival recipe for tips on how to keep warm and just doesn’t want anybody to get in his way when he is hungry or things could get a little grizzly. Apart from participating in the ultimate gay-signature commercial of the year, Phil is a famous actor in London and he has a lot to say.
You have been a famous actor for many years and recently you became very popular through the 3 Bears ads of Rowse honey. How does it feel to be so famous and popular?
Hahaha! I don’t consider myself famous at all! I’m not even sure if I’m famous amongst my own friends!?! It has been nice to be recognised in a few bars and for people to want to offer to buy me a pint of ale though. I’m really glad the campaign went down so well and it connected with our community in the way it was intended.
How did everything start?
What are we talking about here? The Big bang? How I got into acting? Or the Rowse Honey commercial? I heard about the commercial in the same way I normally do, through my agent, but as soon as I’d read the breakdown for it, I knew I wanted to do it! Think I may have trampled over a few other bitches to get this role – in a nice way of course!
Did you expect that the commercials would be so successful?
I had no idea. It’s difficult when you are filming to really know how the end product is going to turn out. You just have to trust that the creatives have a plan and a good eye. To me, Matt and Joel it really just felt like we got to ‘play’ and mess about with each other for a few days. It was a really fun shoot!
What is the reason of this huge success?
I think most communities like to be represented. It felt like a bit of a breakthrough moment for a big brand to want to reflect our small community in this fun positive light. Which is why I wanted to be involved. The 3 bears is also a very well loved and known fairytale all over the world, it transcends language and culture really.
Are there any similarities between the real Phil and the bear role you play in the commercial?
Well we definitely look a like! We were kind of ‘playing ourselves’ which normally is an actors nightmare – give me something in a scratchy wool and period and I’m normally very happy to put on a silly voice – so he’s pretty close to me. Maybe I eat slightly less honey (don’t tell Rowse), I try and keep sugar to cheat days only!
How was it working with the other 2 bears for the commercial? It seems to us that there is a lot of chemistry between you.
It was really great! We didn’t know each other before the shoot and really only had time to get to know each other on the way to the shoot and in the rehearsal day. But both Matt and Joel are friendly, open and warm guys ready to have a bit of a laugh, so we didn’t need to force or ‘act’ the chemistry, it was real.
How has the gay community reacted to this commercial?
I think the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive! We’ve had loads of supportive messages on social media from all over the world. It was kinda surreal to be on all those lbgt+ online outlets that you get your news from!
Do you feel the gay segment was unrepresented in the advertising and marketing industry?
I think there has been slow and steady progress over the last 10 years. It’s nice that this advert recognises one of the sub communities specifically, but also in a positive light, we are laughing with some of the stereotypes of the community, not at them.
What is your favourite role you have played?
Gosh that’s a big question. There are many. I’m a hammy old classical actor, so I’m very happy whenever I get to do a Shakespeare or wield a big old sword on stage!
Is there a role you wished you have played?
Far too many to mention! I enjoy playing lots of different sorts of characters from Pantomime Dame to First World War Squaddies. Anything new and different and challenging is what drives me.
With which famous person would you like to work with?
Usually the last person I’ve seen on stage or on TV. I thought Claire Foy in The Crown was spectacular. Is she available to a play with me please? I also love working with my friends, people who make me laugh.
Who inspires you?
I get inspired by people who just get on and get important things done, that don’t need to shout about it too much. Maybe because that’s the opposite of me!
What makes you such a cute and adorable bear?
Aw, well that’s nice. My ego is already kind of out of control, so maybe I should politely ignore this question! Ha! Stroking an actors ego can be very dangerous, didn’t your mother warn you!
What is the ideal date for you?
Something different and fun. Definitely not the cinema! You’ve got to be able to chat! I think the best one I’ve been on recently was just playing table tennis in a park in London on a nice sunny day. It was different and quirky and really let me get a sense of the guys personality straight off the bat. I also played a blinder. I like to win. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to show him this side of me in hindsight. I’m still waiting for date no.2.
How would you describe the ideal partner?
Years ago I probably would have answered with the old cliche – tall, dark and handsome. (yawn). These days I’m a bit more mercenary. I’m looking for someone rich! Ha, ha. Acting has lots of pleasures, but unless you are very lucky money isn’t really one of them, so I’ve recently decided to become a shameless gold digger! Flash your cash boys, I will be impressed!! Am I joking? Mmn maybe. I’ll let you decide. Talent, drive and ambition are sexy. I love someone who can make me laugh and make me think. Plus if you buy me dinner, I’ll probably give you some sugar! (or honey)
What do you prefer? Theatre, TV, commercial or cinema?
Theatre is my first love. There’s nothing to compete with the buzz and rush of first night in a live performance. Plus nobody claps after a take on a film set! But like most actors, I grab any chances thrown my way. So if Netflix are reading this, I’m quite free in March to film any fabulous new series you have up your sleeve? Maybe about 3 bears living in the woods together?
Share with us a guilty pleasure of yours.
Only if you have evidence! I’m guilty of nothing your honour!
What are your plans for the future?
I’m terrible at planning. My goal for the day is usually to have fun and smile. Luckily I’m pretty good at that. I’ll be happy if I can keep pursuing my career without going totally bankrupt I think. Maybe I’d like to travel more. It’s something I’ve definitely neglected over the years. When I find my passport, I’ll start doing a travel itinerary.
What has been the best reaction from a fan?
Who knew there were so many kinky uses for honey … some of the social media messages we’ve had, well lets just say they are creative and we might have started a whole new subsection of honey based erotic fiction! One offline reaction springs to mind. One was while waiting for a bus, which I hadn’t realised had one of our posters on the outside. A child in a pushchair, realising I was one of the men on the poster, did the best double take you have ever seen, smiled, then started to cry. I’d like to think this happens to Meryl Streep a lot. Well, wen she catches buses.
Complete the sentence. Phil is ______ and likes ______ .
Phil is cuddly and likes to be squeezed.
Would cook porridge with honey for me?
Oh totally! Let’s go pick out a nice pair of aprons for us to wear.
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*all images are courtesy of Phil Sealey