Friday 3rd February 2023

On Friday actor and martial arts expert Winston Ellis was in the hot seat as he shared his story with a packed room of young people and young adults at Bridgestone Arena, including Drama students from local schools.

The Real Talk session as part of JRF’s ‘Passport to Success’ Programme, delivered in partnership with Young Brent Foundation, and One Flow One Brent, gave young people who are considering exam options at school or future career pathways, heard from the actor as he gave a summary of his career and achievements to date.

The talk quickly turned into an interactive discussion with the audience who asked Winston about his journey to the big screen, the challenges he faced working with fellow actors Johnny Depp and Roger Moore and gave much more insight into the industry as a whole.

Winston, who started acting in the early 90s journeying from Reading, Berkshire to Hong Kong working with the likes of Jackie Chan and Jean Claude Van Damme, has since appeared in a number of Pirates of the Caribbean movies along with several high profile credits.

Winston gave some sound advice during his talk which captured the imagination of those looking to pursue a career in the arts, telling them “You have to fail to succeed”. He also stressed the importance of building self-belief and confidence to support you through life, whatever career pathway you choose, offering words of wisdom to young participants of the QPR Kicks Programme, before his departure.

Winston was joined by Sarah Jane Davis who is an actress and works in Special Effects, and added some words of wisdom to the young people on the night.

Sarah served in Iraq as a Lance Corporal in the British Army Aviation Unit known as the Army Air Corps (AAC) on the front line in 2003 as a landing point commander (LPC), fundamentally supporting the war effort to liberate Iraq.

Born in Hammersmith in London Sarah started in theatre and then modelling when she was cast for her military abilities in the film “How I Live Now”. From there she has been behind and in front of the camera, stunt driving on Sky Active channel and various commercials. Sarah undertook acting classes, and performance acting with the Soldiers Arts Academy (SAA), and did theatre in the West End (The Other Palace Theatre), for a whole run with “Soldier On”, raising awareness for veterans with PTSD in 2018.

The ‘Passport to Success’ project which is funded by Young Brent Foundation and One Flow One Brent, aims to give young people an insight into a wide range of industries, and to arm then with the skills needed to compete in the world of work.

Winston will be back at Box Park Wembley for a workshop and discussion in April. Dates to be confirmed. 

If you are interested in attending a future session, please contact the Foundation at with the subject header: Passport to Success.