Tom Cullen

Last updated

Tom Cullen
Cullen in 2017
Thomas Cullen

(1985-07-17) 17 July 1985 (age 37)
Alma mater Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
  • Actor
  • writer
  • director
Years active2006–present

Thomas Cullen (born 17 July 1985) is a Welsh actor and director. He had roles in the independent film Weekend (2011), as Anthony Foyle, Viscount Gillingham in the television series Downton Abbey , [1] and as Sir Landry in the historical drama series Knightfall . [2] He also appeared in another historical drama playing the role of Thomas Seymour in Becoming Elizabeth .


Early life

Cullen was born in Aberystwyth. He is the son of two writers. His father is Irish and his mother is English. [3] He spent his early years in Llandrindod Wells and moved to Cardiff at age 12, [4] where he attended Llanishen High School.[ citation needed ] He has two siblings. [5]

Before pursuing an acting career he was involved in music. [6] He graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2009 with First Class Honours degree in Acting after spending a year at the Central School of Speech and Drama. [7]



Whilst still in training, Cullen was taken out of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to appear in Daddy's Girl, which won the BAFTA Cymru for Best Film, [8] and to star in Watch Me, which won the BAFTA Cymru for Best Short. [9] His stage roles include Gorgio at the Bristol Old Vic, Assembly and A Good Night Out in the Valleys at National Theatre Wales, and The Sanger at Sherman Cymru. [10] In 2011, he was named on the Screen International Stars of Tomorrow list. [11]

Cullen starred in the 2011 film Weekend as Russell, a Nottingham lifeguard. Weekend collected numerous awards including the Grand Jury award at the Nashville Film Festival and Best Achievement in Production at the British Independent Film Awards. Cullen won Most Promising Newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards and Best Actor at the Nashville Film Festival in 2011 for his role as Russell. [12] His television roles include Jonas in Black Mirror , drug trafficker Yoram in Banged Up Abroad [10] [13] and Richard in Pen Talar . He starred as Wulfric in the 2012 miniseries World Without End . [14] He had a recurring role as Mary Crawley's suitor Anthony Foyle (the Viscount Gillingham) in Downton Abbey . [15]

Recent films include Desert Dancer , the story of Iranian dancer Afshin Ghaffarian, who risked his life to become a dancer despite a nationwide dancing ban, and the science fiction The Last Days on Mars , based around the first crewed mission to Mars. Upcoming films include Happily Ever After, No Compass in the Wilderness, A Hundred Streets opposite Idris Elba and Gemma Arterton, and Mine opposite Armie Hammer. [10] [16]

Cullen played Joe Rose in the new three-part ITV drama The Trials of Jimmy Rose , airing in September 2015. [17] He starred in a Canadian indie from production company Motel Pictures, The Other Half . [18] He plays the lead role of Mark in Harlan Coben's The Five , a ten-part Sky 1 mystery series. [19] He also stars as Landry in the History series Knightfall , [2] which started in December 2017. [20] Cullen played Guy Fawkes alongside Kit Harington and Liv Tyler in Gunpowder on BBC One.

Cullen's editorial work includes L'Uomo Vogue , Vogue Italia , Vanity Fair , and 10 Magazine .[ citation needed ]


In 2008, Cullen wrote and produced the short film Naughties with Alexander Vlahos. In 2009, he and Vlahos co-founded the Welsh company Undeb Theatre. [21] He wrote and directed his full-length play, Kingfisher, about a man returning from prison, in 2010, as well as other short plays performed by Undeb. [22]


Cullen made his directorial debut with the 2019 film Pink Wall starring Tatiana Maslany and Jay Duplass. The film is described by Screen Daily as "the story of a couple’s struggles with the pressures of gender expectations and the conflict between life and ambition." [23]



2008Watch MeTomShort film
Nominated for BAFTA Cymru Best Short Film
200920 QuestionsAdamShort film
2010BalanceNicoShort film
2011 Weekend Russell British Independent Film Award for Best Newcomer
2012HenryHenryShort film
2013Room 8IvesShort film
BAFTA Award for Best British Short Film
2013 The Last Days on Mars Richard Harrington
2014 Desert Dancer Ardavan
2016 Black Mountain Poets Richard
2016Happily Ever AfterColin
2016 The Other Half NickieAlso executive producer
2016TrialRyan/New AaronShort film
2016 A Hundred Streets Jake
2016 Mine Tommy Madison
2018 Souls of Totality Guy 3Short film
2019 Pink Wall -Director-writer
2019 Castle in the Ground Jimmy
2021 My Son Frank
2021 Barbarians With Iwan Rheon, Dir. Charles Dorfman


2010 Pen Talar Richard2 episodes
2010 Banged Up Abroad Yoram1 episode
2011 Black Mirror JonasEpisode: "The Entire History of You"
2012 World Without End Wulfric8 episodes
2013–2014 Downton Abbey Anthony Foyle, Viscount Gillingham12 episodes
2015 The Trials of Jimmy Rose Joe Rose3 episodes
2016 The Five Mark Wells10 episodes
2017 Orphan Black Leonard SippEpisode: "Manacled Slim Wrists"
2017-2019 Knightfall Landry du LauzonLead role
2017 Gunpowder Guy Fawkes 3 episodes
2018 Genius Luc Simon2 episodes
2021 Invasion Mr. Edwards
2022 Becoming Elizabeth Thomas Seymour
2023 The Gold TBCUpcoming six-part drama [24]

Awards and nominations

2011 London Film Critics Circle Awards British Actor of the Year Weekend Nominated
2011 BFI London Film Festival Best British Newcomer Weekend Nominated
2011 Nashville Film Festival Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Weekend Won
2011 British Independent Film Award Most Promising Newcomer Weekend Won
2016 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Won

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  1. Arsenault, Bridget. "New Downton Abbey Star Tom Cullen Wishes He Could Play Lady Grantham". The Hive. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  2. 1 2 Wagmeister, Elizabeth (13 May 2016). "Tom Cullen to Star in Jeremy Renner's History Series 'Knightfall' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety . Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  3. "Actor Tom Cullen on Downton Abbey, dancing and being 'the Devil incarnate'". WalesOnline. 2 April 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  4. "Emerging Welsh actor Tom Cullen on his big screen success". WalesOnline. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  5. Grice, Natalie. "Indie film Weekend break for Cardiff actor Tom Cullen". BBC Wales News. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  6. Aftab, Kaleem. "Tom Cullen". Interview . Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  7. Rorke, Robert. "Lady Mary's dashing new suitor to debut on 'Downton Abbey'". New York Post. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  8. "BAFTA Award for Daddy's Girl". Dragon Di. Retrieved 25 April 2008.
  9. "BAFTA Nomination: Ieuan Morris 'Watch Me'". Glamorgan. Retrieved 8 April 2008.
  10. 1 2 3 "Spotlight Actors: Tom Cullen" . Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  11. "Screen International Stars of Tomorrow 2011". Screen Daily 30 June 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  12. "Weekend Awards". Weekend. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  13. "Tokyo - Locked Up Abroad". National Geographic. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  14. "FUTURES: Star Tom Cullen Turns a One Night Stand Into Art". IndieWire. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  15. "Downton Abbey: the dashing aristocrats lining up to lift Lady Mary out of despair". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  16. "Graduate Profile: Tom Cullen". Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  17. "Filming begins on The Trials of Jimmy Rose from ITV Studios". ITV Press Centre. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  18. Vlessing, Etan (21 April 2015). "Tatiana Maslany, Tom Cullen to Star in Indie 'The Other Half'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  19. Roxborough, Scott (30 September 2015). "MIPCOM: Canal Plus Takes Harlan Coben's 'The Five' for France". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  20. "After Vikings, History Channel Brings The Knights Templar To TV With Knightfall". Movie Pilot . Archived from the original on 30 September 2017.
  21. "Actors Unite for Theatre". WalesOnline. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
  22. Wild, Susie. "Undeb celebrate first birthday with Undeb-velopment – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  23. Screen Daily, 'Weekend Star Tom Cullen Wraps Up Directorial Debut' 14 Dec 2017,
  24. "First Look images and further casting announced for upcoming BBC Drama The Gold". Retrieved 17 January 2023.