The star of a new short film created by West Suffolk College got into acting after trying out some new hobbies in a bid to find romance.

David Hallows from Bentley, near Ipswich, came to Suffolk from Essex in 1990 to run his own fish bait business, Neptune Ecology Ltd.

In 1996, he started looking for love by taking a Chinese cookery course at Suffolk New College.

East Anglian Daily Times: Director Ben Pryke on the set of The Sheriff with David HallowsDirector Ben Pryke on the set of The Sheriff with David Hallows (Image: Eastern Education Group))

After that course, he switched his attentions to ballroom dancing but ‘an old toe injury objected’ so he had to stop waltzing.

It was also about this time when he also suffered from a back injury.

During a visit to hospital to get treatment, his physio commented on David’s expressive facial gestures and this encouraged him to take to the stage.

On recovery, he signed up to a short acting course (also at Suffolk New College), and seven weeks later, he graduated from the programme at Ipswich Town Hall with a distinction.

Since then, he hasn’t looked back.

Five acting exams later, in 2002, he gained a Gold Medal Acting from The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and, most recently, he was cast as the main character in upcoming film The Sheriff  created by staff, students and business partners from West Suffolk College.

David plays Stan, a security guard at a shopping centre in a production set for release in early 2024.

David said: “The Sheriff is a raucous action packed comedy.

“My character is a sergeant major type with an air of superiority. He runs things with an iron rod. He is an East London Essex type and he was fun to play. I’m looking forward to the premiere.”

East Anglian Daily Times: David met Stephanie Beacham, although he didn't know who she wasDavid met Stephanie Beacham, although he didn't know who she was (Image: Contributed by Hostry Festival)

David got his first big break while at the University of Suffolk when he answered a casting call to play an Australian war hero in a five minute improvisational piece.

Since then, he has gone on to work with Stephanie Beacham on an upcoming film called Grey Matter.

He said:  "I sat next to her at lunch and we had a chat. I actually didn’t know who she was so it was a bit embarrassing. She has worked with some of the greats like Brando – but I held my own.”

David also narrowly missed out in the chance to work with another big star - Eva Longoria from Desperate Housewives.

East Anglian Daily Times: Sadly David missed the chance to work with Eva LongoriaSadly David missed the chance to work with Eva Longoria

“I was all set to fly to Barcelona but an unexpected snowstorm meant my plane was cancelled. I was going to be in a scene with Eva Longoria – but I had to give the role up because I couldn’t travel - that was a big disappointment.”

Despite missing a chance to star with acting royalty, on the upside, after researching his family tree, David discovered that he has a link to actual royalty.

David said: “I’m intensely proud that I’m descended from Robert the Bruce (King of Scots). I recently went to Stirling and visited The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre to view his statue. I was in that part of the world for a film but I can’t say anything about it because I’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement.”

David said in the future he would love to work with Meryl Streep, Dame Judi Dench or get a role in Casualty.

Of The Sheriff, he said : “It was great working with the students and helping them learn about life on a film set. I think people will like The Sheriff – it’s lots of fun and a bit of a laugh.”

Did he end up finding romance though?

“Sadly no,” he says. “Alas, I am still single.”