Prescot Actor Is Star of Super Bowl Commercial

By on Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Prescot man wielded a sharp pair of scissors and wore a Friar Tuck-style wig to become a medieval monk for a TV commercial seen by tens of millions.

Lee Clotworthy, an actor, director, playwright and prolific star of TV commercials, found his biggest audience yet, advertising Bud Light beer to viewers of the 2019 Super Bowl, America’s most anticipated annual sporting event.

Lee began his working life as a carpenter, but when his dad passed away in 2000 he decided to give up his trade – “Life’s too short,” he told Prescot Online – to pursue his lifelong dream of being an actor.

Beginning his acting studies at St Helens College before taking it to degree level at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth (“The beach sold it to me”), Lee found immediate professional success in a touring play set in Huyton.

They Were All Some Mothers’ Sons told the story of the prisoner-of-war camp in Huyton, during World War Two. The production saw Lee working with fellow Prescotian Mike Howl and co-writer Glyn Edwards. Howl meticulously researched life at the camp for the musical, which had performances across Merseyside and in Knowsley’s twin town of Stadt Moers, Germany.

His next project was another local-set drama, Madonna and Me, by Whiston playwright Tommy KearneyMadonna and Me was based on the author’s own experiences of growing up gay in the 1980s in Birch Close, Whiston. “That was my original stomping ground,” said Lee, who was born at Whiston Hospital. “Coincidentally, Kearney was my old next door neighbour.”

Lee moved to London for seven years, where he he wrote, directed and performed Brian and Queen Tallulah’s Glamorous Intergalactic Magic, which toured London, came to St Helens – in the Citadel theatre, now sadly facing closure – and finally went to the Edinburgh Fringe.

It was during that period that Lee started acting in commercials as a way to fund his passion for theatre.

“I got my first big feature in 2010, on Sky Sports 3D billboards, where I reluctantly had to wear an Arsenal Football T-shirt,” he confessed.

“I then got onto lastminute.com, where my face was plastered all over London and UK TV and newspapers. It was surreal seeing my face on the back of papers and on the Tube ads on my way to work.”

He added: “The weirdest was seeing my face on cupcakes they were giving away in Leicester Square.”

Lee missed the North, especially “friends, family, and chips and gravy,” and returned to Prescot. Since then he’s had success with another of his own plays, National Killing Day (Manchester and Edinburgh) and teamed up with Prescot-based Imaginarium Theatre, formerly MATE Productions, with whom he’s had major roles in Treasure Island and Shakespeare’s The Tempest (pictured).

He’s currently directing Imaginarium Youth Theatre in Class, by Ben Bailey Smith and Lajaune Lincoln, for the National Theatre’s Connections programme.

Lee has continued to finance his personal projects through acting in commercials, although he is eager to point out he’s rejected some ads on principle. One cost him a lucrative £25,000. “The only ones I have turned down are payday loan ads and The S**,” he says. The asterisks are his.

His career in adverts has taken him worldwide, to such locales as Capetown, Prague, Lebanon, Lithuania and Lisbon. His face has been seen and his voice heard around the world.

But it was his shoot for Bud Light beer that proved to be his biggest yet.

“When I found out the day before the shoot that it was for the Super Bowl I was ecstatic, but had to act cool, of course.

“This was also the hardest one I’ve worked on as the entire project was sworn to secrecy, I had a vocal coach and three hours’ sleep the night before. The vocal coach was adamant I didn’t sound the least bit Scouse, which took many takes.

“Got there in the end and was beaming when I saw myself on the Super Bowl. Still am.”

The Super Bowl is the main American football championship and is regularly the most viewed TV event of the year in the US, with an audience upwards of 100 million. The size and scope means commercial slots during the broadcast are the most expensive available, creating a massive buzz across the media and social media.

Watch Lee Clotworthy in the 2019 Bud Light Super Bowl Commercial:

Lee will next be seen in a car commercial – more specific details are hush-hush – and he’s writing a new play as well as working on short films with some like-minded friends.

“As artists we don’t know when the next job comes from, so it’s always best to keep an open mind and diary,” he says.

“We are always learning and striving to be the best versions of ourselves. I want to continue do this through stories, storytelling and art. Sounds pretentious, but I really do believe they are one of the most important things about being human.”

“Even better if you get paid for it!” he adds.

You can keep up with Lee’s acting and watch some of his past TV adverts on his Instagram, @gingerleedoesit.

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