Simon Newton Movie star Bodyguard Interview


“Sooner or later, I might be on a ship within the Gulf of Aden, after which the subsequent day, I might be ready at Heathrow Airport in London for, you understand, one of many fashions to show up.”

Simon Newton’s years of expertise as a bodyguard for A-list celebrities like Bella Hadid and Rita Ora give him a novel perception into the behind-the-scenes lives of a number of the most well-known (and busy) individuals on the planet.

Robino Salvatore / GC Photographs / through Getty

Pictured is Newton with Rita Ora throughout September 2019’s Milan Vogue Week. 

Now an actor and the proprietor of a personal safety firm in London, Newton talked to BuzzFeed about his path to changing into a celeb bodyguard, his day-to-day life whereas on the job, and whether or not getting round on personal jets is de facto all it is cracked as much as be. Listed below are 17 details, tales, and items of bodyguard knowledge from our dialog.


Earlier than he began working as a bodyguard, Newton served within the British navy. He known as this a “pure development” that isn’t unusual within the personal safety enterprise. Stated Newton, “A variety of bodyguards are ex-military or ex-police, so it wasn’t an uncommon factor to enter after being within the navy.”

Whereas he was nonetheless within the Military, Newton had a dialog with a good friend whom he’d met whereas serving; the good friend had left the navy and was working in personal safety. He steered that Newton do the identical, as a result of “circumstances and cash and every little thing else was loads higher.” Newton defined, “I by no means actually had a CV or something like that; I’d solely ever been within the Military, so he put my CV along with all my navy historical past and different bits and items on it.” That CV acquired Newton a job provide, and he left the navy to just accept it.


After working in personal safety within the Center East, in addition to in maritime safety, Newton returned to London to work as a bodyguard for high-profile celebrities and different public figures. This transition, he mentioned, “didn’t actually trouble me an excessive amount of.”

“There’s quite a lot of completely different ranges of being a bodyguard. Some will solely work within the nation that possibly they reside in; some will solely work in possibly, like, the Center East, or hostile environments, and so they don’t actually work from home. Some, like myself, had been form of an all-rounder, and I used to be fortunate sufficient to have the type of expertise and expertise to have the ability to cowl each type of avenue, or every little thing {that a} bodyguard might be concerned in. So I actually took benefit of that, of making an attempt to do every little thing there was to supply within the personal safety world.”

He went on, “Sooner or later, I might be on a ship within the Gulf of Aden, after which the subsequent day, I might be ready at Heathrow Airport in London for, you understand, one of many fashions to show up.” Whether or not he was at residence or overseas, defending ships or A-listers, Newton mentioned, “I believe every little thing was only a day’s work for me, no matter the place I used to be, it was only a day’s work. It’s simply what I loved doing.”


When Newton was taking care of VIPs like Bella Hadid, extraordinarily lengthy days spent in a sequence of unique places had been the norm. Newton defined, “More often than not, [celebrities] come right here for work. They didn’t actually come a lot for type of only a social go to, so we all the time had…issues on the agenda, very often for London Vogue Week.”

Throughout Vogue Week, the fashions may need a gown becoming and a runway rehearsal, adopted by the reveals themselves and, “not all the time however generally,” occasions the place they “needed to flip as much as present face for a pair hours within the night.”

Stated Newton, “It wasn’t so dangerous for them, however for me, it was all the time a really lengthy day, as a result of I used to need to rise up at like 5 – 6 within the morning, and I wouldn’t go to mattress till possibly three or 4 the subsequent morning. You get up earlier than they get up, and also you fall asleep after they fall asleep, so no matter which may imply. However clearly, in between that, in the event that they go and have 4 hours’ nap within the afternoon, we’ve acquired stuff to do nonetheless. We’re nonetheless working, so it’s all the time lengthy days with individuals like that.”

Ian Gavan / Getty Photographs

Pictured is the Burberry Prorsum present throughout 2014’s London Vogue Week.


The longest day Newton ever had on the job was a whopping 22 hours.

When a shopper landed on the airport round 8:30 a.m., Newton recalled, “I might’ve been there by 7:30, which implies I might’ve left my home at 6 within the morning, which implies I most likely would’ve woken up at possibly 5:30, in order that day began for me at 5:30, after which, you understand, [by] the time we do no matter’s scheduled for the afternoon after which exit within the night for dinner, after which if there’s a celebration after, after which abruptly, it’s Three o’clock within the morning, which isn’t that late, however it’s whenever you’ve woken up at 5:30.”


Breaks and days off had been attainable, relying on which occasions his purchasers determined to attend, however for probably the most half, their schedules had been grueling. Consequently, so was Newton’s.

“Typically you get a time off, generally you get a day off, generally you would possibly end early within the night, however nothing’s scheduled in, it simply relies on, you understand, in the event that they type of determine to not exit and also you end,” Newton mentioned. “However the issue with it right here [in the UK] was they’d solely come right here for 4 or 5 days at a time, in order that they used to form of pack every little thing in.”


Together with his years of expertise as a bodyguard, and his present possession of a personal safety firm that locations bodyguards with purchasers, Newton was in a position to communicate to the kinds of non-public qualities and life experiences that celebrities and their groups search for when hiring safety personnel.

He mentioned, “There’s much more to it than what individuals most likely notice. … Folks like look. That doesn’t imply to say that you just’ve acquired to seem like Rambo, you understand, however you at the least must be bodily type of match and succesful.”

Neatness, stamina, flexibility, geographical know-how, and a very good angle are all on the record, too. Stated Newton, “Clear and tidy, as a result of on the finish of the day, you’re stood subsequent to those individuals rather a lot; you form of symbolize them as effectively. Good native information of wherever you use, the power to adapt, undoubtedly, the power to work lengthy hours. We don’t ever get upset about something. Even when it’s not our fault, we nonetheless don’t get upset, even when we get informed off and it’s not our fault, we don’t get upset. So all the time tremendous, tremendous type of comfortable and keen to assist.”

And group is vital. Newton defined, “The smoother the day runs, actually for A-list celebrities, the safer it’s for them, additionally.”

Ernesto Ruscio / WireImage / through Getty


Whereas the work of a bodyguard can seem like it is a easy matter of escorting purchasers to and from their vehicles, Newton says safety is liable for a ton of legwork, and that it was his job to “ensure we get the appropriate desk [at a restaurant], ensure the automobile goes the appropriate route, ensure we don’t get caught in visitors for hours, [and] ensure we will park and drop on the proper door.”

Stated Newton, “There’s all the time one thing to do, and when you’ve acquired nothing to do, that’s the day and also you’ve acquired time, you begin what you’re doing tomorrow and see if you may get forward of the sport barely for tomorrow.”


Newton labored as a “freelance bodyguard,” so he had management over which purchasers he labored with, and was in a position to flip down these with whom he did not suppose he would gel. He mentioned, “I used to be just a little bit spoiled, as a result of I didn’t need to take care of anybody I didn’t need to take care of.”

“All of the individuals I sorted had been excellent to me. And, you understand, we acquired on very effectively. Actually everyone.”


In response to Newton, attending a purple carpet occasion, flying on a personal jet, and dealing aboard a personal yacht are “usually the type of pinnacle of a bodyguard’s profession.” He is executed all three, however he added, “The novelty wore off, I believe, by the point I used to be 30…the entire thing for me actually was only a job.”


As for the personal jets, they might be glamorous, however to a bodyguard, touring on one is not a luxurious; it is a commute.

Newton mentioned, “I’ve been with fairly a lot of excessive net-worth individuals, you understand, billionaires moderately than millionaires, so all of them love jets. However the issue with it’s, within the grand scheme of issues, it does sound enjoyable, it does sound nice, however you’re on a jet that’s not your jet. You sit the one place there’s to sit down, and also you try to keep out of the way in which. You don’t need to be a nuisance. You are most likely flying to a rustic the place as quickly as you get off that aircraft, you’re working.”

He went on, “Sure, all proper, it’s a comfortable journey for 3 hours. That’s form of the place it stops, as a result of it’s not your aircraft, you’re not going wherever you need to go, you’re not going to the place you’re going, you’re not going to take pleasure in it, you’re going to work.”


A yacht, however, is “a bit extra snug,” since they’re supposed to host passengers for longer intervals of time. However it might nonetheless be cramped, and as a bodyguard, you are on the clock, not trip. Newton joked, “It’s not like I can exit on the highest deck and put my shorts on for a couple of hours and get a little bit of solar.”

He added, “Though you’re across the form of excessive life at instances, when you like, you don’t actually get to expertise any of it, since you’re working.”

Laughingmango / Getty Photographs


In 2017, Vogue known as Newton the “actual fashion star of London Vogue Week.” However his curiosity in style existed lengthy earlier than he began working with runway fashions and magnificence influencers.

Stated Newton, “I’ve all the time preferred garments. I’ve all the time preferred style. I’ve by no means actually copied anybody. I put on what I like. If I am going into a store and I like one thing which is £10, I’ll purchase it. If it’s £200, if I’ve acquired the cash, I’ll purchase it.”

“That’s the great thing about that job; there wasn’t any gown code. … You will get away with denims, good trainers or footwear, and a shirt. After which within the night, clearly, particularly if it was a black tie occasion, or relying what it was, I’d usually put a go well with on or one thing related within the night.”

He went on, “I did that simply ‘reason for consolation. Some guys would put on the go well with all day and night time, which you are able to do. You are able to do that, however whenever you’re traipsing round in a go well with all day, after which you have to put on it to a black tie factor within the night, it’s simply good to, you understand…you get half an hour, get a fast bathe, get modified, and exit correctly.”

However his alternative of garments on the job mirrored what he would’ve worn on his personal time. Stated Newton, “I form of simply did what I might usually do if I used to be round London myself.”


Whereas there is not any one bodyguard “uniform,” so to talk, there are some sensible requirements in the case of the way in which individuals working in safety gown. Newton named “smart footwear that lace up” and a long-sleeved button-up shirt with a tie as his go-to gadgets in his wardrobe whereas he was working.


Newton went from defending celebrities to becoming a member of their ranks on film units, and is now pursuing an appearing profession. He labored on his first movie in 2010: Inexperienced Zone, an motion film starring Matt Damon.

Common / Courtesy Everett Assortment

Whereas he was working in Iraq in personal safety, Newton met an armorer who served as a navy advisor on Troy (2004). The armorer gave Newton, who “all the time had an curiosity in movie,” a contact within the leisure business, which Newton adopted up on when he returned to London a couple of years later. Newton was quickly requested to journey to Morocco to movie for Inexperienced Zone. On the time, he was working in safety for the Dubai royal household.


The following film Newton labored on was Sherlock Holmes: A Recreation of Shadows. He acquired to movie for much less time than he needed, since he accepted some maritime safety work throughout a manufacturing break and was at sea for much longer than he anticipated.

Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Assortment

Newton defined, “We had a two-month hole, and somebody requested me to go away on a ship on anti-piracy for 2 weeks, so I believed, ‘I’ll go and try this, trigger I acquired two months.’ I ended up at sea for, like, far an excessive amount of longer, practically three months, method longer than I ought to’ve been away.”

Even worse, engaged on a ship meant that getting in contact with manufacturing was no simple feat. He recalled, “Whenever you’re at sea…you don’t have cell phone sign or something like that. So I couldn’t ring the movie firm to say I wasn’t going to be again. So I form of vanished. After which, after I got here again, I defined to them what occurred, considering, ‘I’m gonna be sacked, there’s no method they’ll maintain me,’ and so they believed what I mentioned, which was true, however they believed me, and so they let me go into the top a part of the movie after that as effectively.”

Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Assortment

Since then, Newton has executed “a great deal of little bits for UK TV, BBC, [and] Sky,” and is at present engaged on two further movie initiatives.


When requested about any misconceptions about bodyguards that he wished he may right, Newton spoke about two at size: The supposed perks of working with celebrities, and the general public’s perception that bodily violence is an inherent side of their work.

In regards to the life-style of the one p.c, Newton mentioned, “You’re not there for you, none of that stuff’s there for you, you understand, so I believe that’s a little bit of a false impression generally, {that a} bodyguard simply type of follows somebody round and nearly enjoys the life that they take pleasure in, ‘trigger you don’t, in any respect.”

As for the preventing, Newton joked, “By the entire of my profession, individuals, not within the business, however individuals exterior it, they all the time assume that I may kill a rhinoceros with my naked fingers.”

He defined, “I’ve by no means needed to contact anybody in my 17 years. … Within the UK, I discovered by my planning, and the way in which I spoke to individuals, and simply my presence at instances, I by no means had an issue.” Newton added, “The actual fact of the matter is, if I’ve to hit somebody, it’s gone improper already. As a result of every little thing you do is so it doesn’t get to that stage.”


And bodyguards have no particular authorized immunity that might enable them to get bodily aggressive with somebody. Newton defined, “I believe very often individuals suppose that type of beating somebody up is the very first thing you do, you understand, and so they’ll additionally suppose you’re allowed to do it, since you’re a bodyguard, and also you’re not. We’re not; we’re nonetheless topic to the legislation like everyone else.”

“With our license, within the UK, now we have licensing, so there’s slight parameters now we have, possibly, {that a} regular man doesn’t have. However I let you know what, it’s very minimal. Every part must be open palm, as quickly as you try this [makes a closed fist], we get executed for assault on this nation.”

He went on, “And clearly, taking into consideration the kinds of individuals I used to to take care of, there’s paps in every single place, so you may’t be seen to be going too over-the-top; you may’t be seen to be doing something you shouldn’t be doing, and rightly so. A variety of the individuals I sorted, they didn’t like that method, anyway. They don’t desire a bodyguard which is simply too overbearing and too forceful. So, yeah, I believe that’s most likely the most important false impression.”

“You’ve acquired to have the ability to take care of your self, you’ve acquired to have the ability to take care of the particular person you’re with, and also you’ve acquired to have the ability to take management of a scenario, however you haven’t essentially acquired to have the ability to kill somebody with one flick of the wrist,” he mentioned, laughing.

“Bodyguards are available in all styles and sizes,” Newton identified. And, fortunately for any aspiring bodyguards on the market, the power to overcome a rhinoceros in fight shouldn’t be a requirement.

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