Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Tom Hughes: The brand new face of British excellence

Photography: Simon Lipman

Tom Hughes is looking at me in utter bewilderment. “I genuinely don’t know what you’re talking about,” the 30-year-old actor says. The morning of ShortList’s interview, news breaks that he is (potentially) tipped to replace Daniel Craig as 007. Yet, here we are and… silence. Either this guy deserves an Oscar, or he genuinely has no idea. Hasn’t anyone said anything to him?

“Honestly, I got up this morning, made a cup of tea, ate a boiled egg, jumped in a cab, did a photoshoot and now I’m having another cup of tea while talking to you. That’s been my day.”

The actor doesn’t use social media – no Twitter, “definitely no” Instagram – which might explain his blank face. It also explains why he has no idea his latest show, ITV’s Victoria, is currently embroiled in a bitter Sunday night TV battle with the BBC’s Poldark – and it’s winning (5.2 million to Aiden Turner’s measly 5.1 million viewers). All black leather boots, facial hair and stolen glances with a pithy 18-year-old Victoria (played by Jenna Coleman), Hughes’ young Prince Albert is the perfect amount of posh to fill TV’s gaping Downton Abbey hole.

A Cheshire native, the actor’s first big career break was in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s Cemetery Junction – when he was a mere seven months out of drama school.

Roles in About Time, Derek and the BBC’s Cold War drama The Game swiftly followed – the latter being the source of the Bond buzz. Next up is Realive, in which Hughes plays the first man to be brought back to life after being cryogenically frozen.

“It was a hell of a job for me,” he says. “I lost two stone in six weeks. I had to shave my entire body. I mean, everything. And when it grows back, the itching is… something else. The image of me in a Barcelona bathroom shaving my head, on my own, at quarter to five in the morning, isn’t pretty.’”

He’s being dramatic, of course. Filming finished last year, his hair has grown back and his daggered cheekbones are glowing once again. Just in time for a certain agile, gun-wielding spy, perhaps? “To be considered for any role is very flattering,” he says. “But still, genuine blankness.”

Victoria is on ITV, Sundays at 9pm 

Related

Thug-Puma-.jpg

How the hell did tracksuits become so fashionable?

Capture.JPG

12 of the best trainers we've seen on Instagram this week

RD.jpg

5 styles hipsters have stolen from Roald Dahl books

Comments

More

Frank Carter picks his greatest frontmen and women of all time

The punk icon selects Nick Cave, Iggy Pop and more

16 Jan 2017

Trainer of the day: Saucony Liberty

America isn't ALL bad

by Jamie Carson
12 Jan 2017

13 coats and jackets to prepare you for the snowy weekend

The layers you need to hibernate in when the snow starts to fall

by Jamie Carson
11 Jan 2017

Boy George, Rami Malek and A$AP Rocky star in new Dior campaign

The new romantic legend looks slick AF

by Jamie Carson
11 Jan 2017

These are the 7 trends every man will embrace in 2017

From cowboy to punk, these are the key styles you'll be investing in this year

by Jamie Carson
10 Jan 2017

Win your very own bespoke tweed jacket from Huntsman

How to be in with a chance of owning a piece of Savile Row style

10 Jan 2017

The slickest street style shots from London Fashion Week Men's

The real action happens outside the shows

by Jamie Carson
10 Jan 2017

The best dressed men from the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

Iggy Pop wearing a tuxedo is disturbingly cool

by Jamie Carson
09 Jan 2017

These new Air Jordan Super Nintendos are seriously next level

Trainers that push all the right buttons

by James Bird
05 Jan 2017

The best menswear from the January sales

Brighten up the most depressing month of the year with some new threads

by Jamie Carson
04 Jan 2017