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

Vans' new Christmas collection proves beyond doubt that Santa is real

Christmas skulls and ho ho ho laces is all we want to wake up to on December 25

by Jamie Carson
02 Dec 2016

"She's not my image," Tom Ford refused to dress Melania Trump

Apparently his clothes are too expensive for a First Lady to wear - OOOOOH BURN!

by Jamie Carson
01 Dec 2016

12 alternative Christmas jumpers

Who knew Slayer and Donald Trump would make good festive knitwear?

by Jamie Carson
01 Dec 2016

The 15 Coolest Watches For Under £100

Time to get your Christmas shopping sorted

30 Nov 2016

14 coats and jackets to get you ready for the arctic blast

Don't worry, nobody is freezing to death - yet

by Jamie Carson
29 Nov 2016

Football scarves: winter’s biggest accessory trend

Tame the cold evenings with these terrace-inspired beauties

by Jamie Carson
29 Nov 2016

Trainer of the Day: Size? x adidas Gazelle GTX 'London'

They look like a lovely postbox

by Sam Diss
28 Nov 2016

Watch Wes Anderson directed H&M Christmas advert starring Adrien Brody

Could this BE any more Wes Anderson?

by Emily Badiozzaman
28 Nov 2016

Alternative music t-shirts you won't see anyone else wearing

How else are they supposed to spot you from the crowd?

by Jamie Carson
25 Nov 2016

10 of the best looks from Oli Sykes' new Drop Dead collection

The Bring Me The Horizon frontman nails it in the new campaign

by Jamie Carson
25 Nov 2016