‘I've gone from war zones to bodyguarding Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid - now I’m a film star’

Throughout his lifetime, Simon Newton has had quite the career. From serving in the British Army to being a bodyguard for celebrities including Michael Jackson and Kendall Jenner, his career has gone from strength to strength. Now an actor, Simon has opened up about his time working as a professional bodyguard and how a chance opportunity in 2003 saw his career take a very different turn.

“I was out in Iraq in 2003 and I got offered a job for a private security company back in London, and I took it so I had to leave to take that job,” he tells OK!.

Simon Newton
Simon Newton is a former professional bodyguard -Credit:PR

“The first [celebrity he worked with] was [Michael] Jackson. I was actually working in Afghanistan at the time, so I did Michael Jackson on one of my four weeks off. I was in between the hostile environment and working in the UK.”

But despite working for some of the biggest celebrities on the planet, Simon has never been starstruck by any of his clients. Given the importance of his role, it’s crucial that he remains professional at all times.

“I've never been starstruck, to be honest, but it definitely made life a lot easier,” Simon says. “Even when I was younger I never really had a hero or anything like that, you know? When I looked at people on the TV, if anything I looked at people and thought ‘I could do that, right?’”

With each job differing on the client and the itinerary at hand, no two days for Simon ever looked the same. With some jobs taking him from 6am in the morning to 4am the next day, others have seen him work alone while others he’s worked as part of a larger group.

Kendall Jenner
Simon has worked for celebrities including Kendall Jenner -Credit: Gilbert Flores/WWD via Getty Images

“It just depends on who it is, what the visit is and what they do for a job,” he explains. “So some you get close to. For a lot of people I was with, I worked on my own, whereas with Jackson there were five of us. It just depends on what the day is.”

Besides working for Michael Jackson, Simon has also helped the likes of Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid when both were staying in London a number of years ago. “Both of them actually were really good,” he says. “I found that for me, they all treated me well. They're all nice.”

While his career may have seen him work with a variety of stars, securing a clientele wasn’t easy during the early days as Simon had to create his own contacts book in order to get his name out there.

“You don't know anyone, so you have to build a little book of different agencies and labels,” he explains. “To start with it can be quite hard for guys if they’ve got a family and a mortgage and all that. It's quite uncertain in the early days.”

Bella Hadid
He's also worked for Bella Hadid -Credit:Gotham/Getty Images

However, from there things get easier. Simon continues: “People will say ‘my mate who's an actor needs someone, I'll suggest you’. When I was doing it, that’s why it was the same sort of faces we used to turn up for security. They like tried and tested people.”

Away from his career as a bodyguard, Simon has been working in the acting industry for over two decades and after starring in his first film in 2010 took a break from his profession to attend acting school.

“In 2017 or 2018, I thought, ‘I don't want to be a bodyguard. I've done it.’ I thought, ‘I enjoyed the acting’ and I always said I'll do it. So I took a clean break from the security industry and then I went to acting school,” he says.

“I’d love to work with Jason Statham or Guy Ritchie. The main reason for that is because I get called Jason Statham five times a week. Something like Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen would be a dream job.”

Simon Newton
Simon now works in the fashion and acting industries -Credit:PR

If that wasn’t enough, Simon’s talents don’t end there. He is also the founder of clothing brand Simon Newton London Ltd.

“I always had on a bomber jacket, but it was made by someone else. I just said back in 2015 or 16 I’d make my own one day, and that's how it started. I put it down again because of Covid and then last year I went back to it and got it up and running,” Simon recalls.

As for the future, Simon has his sights set on dreaming all aspects of his career as he continues to move full steam ahead.

He says: “My ambition is to get a film made and to get bigger parts in the acting industry. I also want to develop the clothing brand into something a bit more substantial. There’s no going back.”