- 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.
Tom had a radio show while he was at Birmingham University
- 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."
"The lady, the dog, a nice view, a cup of coffee, the phones at a distance, and a promise from someone, anyone, that it’s perfectly alright to just take some time off and chill."
- Has Tom ever ended up in hospital?
"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?
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..." (2012)
- 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.
- Tom on auditions
"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."
"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 "
"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.”
"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."
With Da Vinci’s Demons, my American agents had sent the script, but I didn’t get to go in on it. I forgot all about it, but then I got a call from a casting director while I was shooting Monroe in Leeds saying they hadn’t been able to find a Leonardo and could I come down to London the next day and meet the creator David S. Goyer. I was so unprepared, but it kind of took the pressure off. There were 10 people on the list [for the role] and I looked at the list and thought, ‘well, I’m not getting this!’ I went in and did it and felt something shift in the room. David kept giving me different versions of the scenes to do. I walked to Hammersmith station and before I got on the Tube my phone was ringing and it was my agent saying, ‘I don’t know what you just did in that room but they’ve called and said would you go to America immediately.’ I didn’t even have to audition for Starz (the channel), I just had to chat through what I thought about the character in a big, plush Los Angeles office. It’s changed my life in America. It’s led to lovely things being offered, rather than going through the rigmarole of auditioning. Before, I was going to the US and having to wait outside to meet a casting director’s assistant to see if I could meet a casting director. It was like starting again. That was always the case until Da Vinci came along.
- What’s the best advice that Tom's been given?
"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?
"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! " Lost In Austen
Dressing like he was in Peru when he was actually filming in Swansea, Wales … "Yeah. Pretending it’s too hot – “Oh, it’s so sweltering” – and we were freezing. That’s the thing I’m going to miss the least, how cold it was." Da Vinci's Demons
- 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?
"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." (FHM interview - I Want Candy)
- On-camera tomfoolery
"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." (Happy Ever Afters interview)
- Does Tom still get starstruck?
"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." (Irish Independent interview 2009)
- On characters Tom plays.
"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?
"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 . . ."