Tom titbits, trivia & quotes

Interesting Tom tit-bits...

Tom is an enormous comic book fan.

Tom has a dog called Buns.

For Da Vinci's Demons he had to improve his horseriding skills, become ambidextrous, and used the same trainer as for the recent Bond films to get into shape. (He does NOT have a gym in the basement of his home, nor has he spent 'years honing his body').

Tom has a bit of a soft spot for jelly sweets. Don’t leave him unattended at a pick n mix.

Tom wears glasses for reading, and when he is tired - he is nearsighted in one eye, and farsighted in the other.

Tom's favourite car was an Audi A5, but got to drive a Jaguar in Los Angeles for a while, which spoiled him for any other car. 

Tom has loved Doctor Who since he was a child, and went to birthday parties dressed as Doctor Who. Sylvester McCoy was 'his' Doctor Who. 

Favourite charities?

Terrence Higgins Trust and Scope.

Favourite tipple?

"Hendricks and tonic. Corona. Jamesons. In that order. Followed by a sensible glass of water. And a lie down."

Favourite item of clothing?

"I’m a bit of a sucker for wrist nonsense."

Tom's favourite clothes shop for years was All Saints.

"I like dressing well if I can and if I can afford it and if I have the stuff in my wardrobe"

Favourite films

Tom's favourite film is Dancer In The Dark. (2009 website interview)

Tom loves Terrence Malick movies.

Very first acting role?

The Winslow Boy, in the Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone. It was an amateur dramatics production, and he was about 12.

If Tom had to be stranded in any one place in the world, where would it be?

"I’m a little bit in love with New York."

"New York is easily my favourite place in the world and I love hotels because they let me be as connected to or cut off from the world as I like."

"I love New York. I'd move here in a heartbeat if anyone would let me, but I live in Hell's Kitchen now. If I was doing it again I'd be living downtown in the East Village or the Lower East Side -- something like that. I love downtown. I spend as much time there as I can."

Has Tom ever ended up in hospital? (Dominion Post interview 2011)

"A kidney stone once put me in hospital for a week. I was watching a late night episode of something and in the space of the commercial break I went from sitting happily on the sofa to writhing on the floor whilst my flatmates panicked and offered me water. The water didn't help."

The best invention ever?

"I am lost without my MacBook Pro. And iPhone. It’s pathetic, really. I’m Steve Jobs’ bitch."

Thoughts on love? Glamour Magazine Feb 2012

Apparently he is embarassingly romantic. "Being an actor is all about empathy and getting into someone else's head, so I should be more sensitive to that stuff..."

If Tom wasn't an actor?

"I don't know if I would be doing it, but I might have been a Chef. I really like cooking. So I think that's what I'd want to do if I wasn't acting, I'd try and find my way into that. Or a journalist, but I doubt that'll happen…" (2009 website interview)

Chef or record company A&R man (2013)

Thoughts on screen nudity?

"Somewhere on a cutting room floor in Paris there lies a full-frontal nude scene that never made it into A Few Days In September. A love scene between Orlando and David that was shot very artistically and tastefully over a day in Venice, but which I guess Santiago figured wasn’t necessary for the final cut. It’s never the easiest thing to get naked in front of a room full of people, because no matter how mature everyone is trying to behave, you can’t help but get the feeling that everyone’s only one more genital glance away from giggling. I figure doctors have the same problem during certain inspections… So you just block it out, get on with the job at hand – so to speak - and try not to either hate it, or enjoy it too much…"  

"There is some naked dude walking about, and it's me quite a lot of the time..." Tom commenting on the 'sexy stuff' in Da Vinci's Demons.

First audition

The first audition I ever had was for something at the Royal Court called The Woman Before. I was still at drama school and I assumed I wouldn’t get it. I didn’t. But a month later I got a phone call two days before the show opened saying the guy who was going to play the part had dropped out and could I come in and do it.

Strangest audition? (The Verve interview - I Want Candy) 

"I did an audition for Napoleon for the BBC and the director went "OK, thanks very much for your time, now can you do a forward roll." I said 'What? Are you serious?' and he went "Yes I've set up this camera, and here's a crash mat, can you do a forward roll. I don't want to get out to Malta where we're filming this and discover the person I've cast as Napoleon can't do a forward roll…" Oh he did a lot of gymnastics did he, Napoleon? And he went "No, but he's a fighter." So I had a big jacket on, and boots, and I did it. But it was very strange. I was thinking, this is gonna crop up somewhere on late night television " 

About auditions (IFTN.ie interview - Happy Ever Afters)

"I’m crap at auditions, they’re my Achilles heel. I’m really bad except when I’m with another actor. It’s a terrible trait to have because once I get through the door people want to work with me again but it’s just that first time they say ”No”. It’s usually because when you sit opposite a casting director and there is just the camera there, they are reading with you and they are constantly checking whether the camera’s on you and forgetting their lines and they have a very tough job - they see a hundred people, it’s understandable.”

Auditioning for Arcadia (Paper Magazine interview 2011)

"The thing is, if I really, really want a part I tend to over-work. I go in to audition and it ends up being too prepped and too hard. I was doing a TV series in the North of England at the time and I got the call saying asking if I could go in and read for Arcadia. I hadn't read the play since university and had to read it on the train on the way to do the reading. I couldn't prepare as much as I normally would, so I had to slightly freestyle it. I think that looseness worked well because it's part of Septimus and helped set me aside. Basically I cheated my way into the part. I just hope no one finds out."

What’s the best advice that Tom's been given? (IDOL Magazine interview 2011)

I don't know if it's the best but it's certainly one that feels the most relevant whilst in the theatre. Someone told me it was massively important to find something to love in the performing of a piece onstage. To believe in what you're doing utterly. Because even if it's reviewed horribly, or you get lambasted for choices that have been foisted upon you, you still have to get up onstage every night and give it your all. And if you have no love for it, you won't enjoy it. And if you don't enjoy it, what's the point? ...The only other invaluable piece of advice I can think of is "never eat yellow snow. “

Night owl or a lark?

"Night owl – very much so. I tend to do all my best work in the middle of the night. Although nobody’s around to see it."

The house is burning, loved ones are safe, but what else would Tom need to rescue?

"I have the continuity script from the first movie I ever did, full of notes and photographs of every single scene, and inscribed with the nicest things by all the cast and crew. It would break my heart to lose it."

Thoughts on period costume (behind the scenes - Lost In Austen)

"The worst thing about doing a period drama is probably the amount of costume. Between you and me, and everyone, I am wearing a thong under all this, which is to keep everything in place under the jodpurs. And that is probably the worst thing, because I think it has shrunk in the wash. And today...today has been tough! "

Tom's top choice for FHM 100 sexiest women 2007?

"Julianne Moore. That's a bit weird isnt it?" (FHM interview - I Want Candy)

Porn Star name?

Biscuit Cripple - Biscuit was the name of his first cat. (various interviews for I Want Candy)

The funniest or weirdest porn Tom has seen? (FHM interview - I Want Candy)

"There was a guy at my school, I won't name him, but he had this thing called Squirting Colts, which was this ledgendary video that everyone had heard of, but you couldn't get hold of. You had to go up to him and give him a fiver and some grapes or something and he would give you the video for a night. It was just basically men on horses, who were breaking women out of prison then shagging them. Bizarre."

On-camera tomfoolery (Happy Ever Afters  interview)

"It's better to commit 100% than be tentative about it. You have to throw yourself 110% into rolling around, falling over, being slapped about."

Does Tom still get starstruck? (Irish Independent interview 2009)

"I get starstruck around musicians. I love music. I met Damon Albarn during a Make Poverty History gig. He was at a party on a boat on the Thames afterwards. He came up, chatting to me, and all I said was "Damon ... Albarn". Like a twat. As he walked away, I just thought, "there you go, well done". I used to play guitar and piano when I was younger, but gave it up to act."

On characters Tom plays (IFTN.ie interview 2009)

"You must find something to like in everybody you are playing otherwise it won’t work. I’m not a big believer in the good and evil that sometimes makes up TV and film roles. You have got to find bits in characters that you like and understand because that’s real life"

What literary character would Tom most like to play? (Dominion Post 2011)

"Being able to play Septimus Hodge in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia on Broadway, having studied it at university, feels like I've been lucky enough to have that dream come true already. That said, if Hamlet came my way . . ."

Thoughts from Tom's co-stars

Hermione Norris - “When you are dealing with actors who are all used to working with heavier material it makes it easier to switch off when the cameras stop rolling. We laughed a lot. Tom probably had the darkest storyline to follow. He had to snog me in some of those scenes! He is a lovely, lovely man. I thought he was very good and handled difficult stuff really well."

Imogen Poots - “Tom Riley and I quickly passed the stage of being polite and cautious with each other, which allowed us to really enjoy bouncing off one another and challenge each other. He was such a great support and a dream to work with in that sense. We had fun with it.” Imogen admits she and Tom, who plays Gavin Sorenson, have become firm friends as a result of filming Bouquet of Barbed Wire…

“It’s very rare when you are filming with other actors to stay in touch as friends on a regular basis. Tom Riley is a friend and an incredible person. He was really a pleasure to be around at all times. Despite the dark nature of some scenes, Imogen and Tom had a lot of fun filming on set.

“We were quite thankful to have each other on set, especially because the subject did get so dark sometimes. We helped each other to disconnect from it.

“It was snowing at one point during filming, and one of Tom’s favourite things to do was knock on my door and throw a snowball at me when I opened it. I have to admit it grew slightly boring after a while but he continued to do it, everyday, until the snow melted!”

Jemima Rooper - “I also like working for Mammoth and one of my best friends, Tom Riley, plays Gavin and that always makes it fun. We only had one scene together, but we were in fits of giggles for most of it so I think the director was very happy we didn’t have anymore together! “It is quite a dark piece so it was nice to have lighter moments off camera. I think that was really important. Tom and Imogen had a really good working relationship so consequently Imogen is now a good friend of mine.

James Nesbitt - “Monroe’s relationship with anaesthetist Shepherd, played by Tom Riley, is based on humour. They work together, gamble together and play together. Spending their every working hour together results in them having a very strong trust and bond which is crucial to the job they do. “Although they can be the best of friends, Monroe can push Shepherd which results in them falling out. That worked out very well with Tom as we got on brilliantly and had a great time during filming.

Jane Tranter, Head of BBC Worldwide Productions, said on casting Tom in Da Vinci's Demons, “Tom is a fabulously charismatic, intelligent and versatile actor. His audition displayed an unabashed energy that we are excited to see unleashed in his performance as a reimagined artistic genius in 15th century Florence!”