'I'm the best!': Ant Middleton reckons UK audiences are 'gagging' to have him back onscreen

Virgin Radio

19 May 2023, 12:36

Credit: Rex and Middleton

Have you missed Ant Middleton? The SAS: Who Dares Wins star will be back on our screens soon thanks to a new film role.

He is set to make his acting debut in the lead role of Shelter, swapping small-screen reality tv to thr world of film.

Shelter is directed by Scott Vickers, and sees Middleton playing a hitman.

Described as an action-thriller, Middleton plays "shut-down, iced-out" Rob Shaw, who travels to a remote location after an upsetting call from his ex-wife.

He is met there by his estranged family and is told that global nuclear event is imminent.

He refuses to join the family in their, and then springs into action when ex-soldiers take control of the building.

Middleton told Metro.co.uk what persuaded him to take the role: "I read the script and one character stood out to me and that was Rob Shaw. And I thought, “He’s never gonna ask me to do a lead acting role”, so I was looking at one of the soldiers,’

The director recalled: "I said, “Well, do you want to be a small part? Or do you see yourself as a lead actor?” Ant’s like, “Lead actor, all the way”,

"He’s never done any small parts in any areas of his career. As a special forces soldier, he’s done the holy trinity in the military [and then] straight into TV and leading SAS: Who Dares Wins. So he’s not going to go into film and then just take a backseat – and that was my advice."

Middleton added: "A couple of supporting roles have come along within the last few years and I didn’t want to jump into the acting world just on a whim – I wanted it to be a natural fit. This script came up and it was Rob Shaw, an ex-hitman, estranged from his family, who goes back to sort of redeem his past… He’s lost all purpose in life and all of a sudden he gets that purpose back.

"I’ve gone into TV and I’ve led everything that I’ve done, and taking this lead role was like, “Right, if I’m ever going do it, it’s going to be now with Rob Shaw and with Scott”.’

"It’s got depth, it’s got purpose and relatability,’ he says.

"When I left the military, [I had] that loss of purpose and loss of identity. You try and fill that void with stuff that doesn’t quite work, and then you’re going around in circles, chasing your tail, and nine times out of 10 when you do that, you get yourself in trouble or you find yourself in a hole – and that’s what I did.

Talking about his break into acting, he says: "It’s a hard industry to break and I fully appreciate that, and I’m not naïve enough to think that this is going be a one-stop shop and all of a sudden, I’m going to be in Hollywood. I’m doing it out of passion and because I want to really get my head into acting and the storytelling behind it, which is what interests me.

‘I know I can enhance the film tenfold by bringing my authenticity to the forefront,’ he insists.

Vickers agrees: "There was a specific scene with a knife I was talking to Ant about and he says “No, it’s actually not done like that”, and then described how it’s done properly.’

"But things like that have gone into the script, so the authenticity is amazing. What you see on screen is done in reality."

He isn't worried about extra attention: "No, because I’m the best of the best and no one can touch me!’ he laughs.

"I can actually show how things are supposed to be done without it being forced, or people picking me up or questioning the authenticity of it. But I love that – that pressure excites me. It makes me want to do it even more!’

"What is so good about this film is the UK population want to see me back on TV, they’ve been gagging for me to get back, even though I pushed over to Australia with Million Dollar Island and SAS Australia.

"I’ve always thought, how am I going to come back? It’s got to be something big. It’s got to be something punchy.’

A release date is yet to be announced.