Is Philip Winchester from “Strike Back” British? I could swear he was American, but he puts on a good British accent for the show.
—Joseph Bradley, Greensboro, N.C.
Winchester, 32, is a native of Belgrade, Mont., but his mother was a Brit, so he has dual citizenship. His father took several acting classes at Montana State University when Winchester was young. Bitten by the same bug, he followed his father into the profession and was cast at age 14 in Steven Seagal’s “The Patriot,” when the film, which shot in the Big Sky state, did local casting.
Following his graduation from Belgrade High School in Montana, Winchester switched continents and attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, where he stayed for six years and performed in productions of “The Crucible” and “Blood Wedding.”
And speaking of the British accent he uses in “Strike Back,” Winchester recalls that when he first moved to L.A., he was often complimented on his American accent. He remembers saying, “Guys, I grew up in Bozeman, Mont., I’d better have a good American accent.”
Winchester’s career got off to a slow start when he was cast in several TV pilots that never saw the light of day—including the 2004 sitcom “Commando Nanny,” which was going to be his big break, until he had to be replaced after he broke his foot—and a few indie films.
Finally, his career got a kickstart from a supporting role in the movie “Thunderbirds.” This was followed by roles in “Flyboys,” “In My Sleep,” “Solomon Kane” and “The Heart of the Earth.”
His TV credits include the title role in NBC’s short-lived “Crusoe” series, a critically acclaimed production of “King Lear” on “Great Performances,” the miniseries “Alice” and “Maneater,” a recurring role on “Fringe,” and guest starring roles on “CSI: Miami,” “Warehouse 13” and the TV movie, “A Walk in My Shoes.”
Winchester’s stock rose considerably in 2011 when he landed the role of Leontes in the Starz’ series “Camelot,” as well as the starring role on “Strike Back.”
Of his role as Sgt. Michael Stonebridge, a British intelligence officer, he says, “The explosions, the car chases, the fun stuff, as [Sullivan Stapleton] and I call it, is easy because I’m a guy. I enjoy that stuff.”