Tom Cullen Biography

Tom Cullen is a Welsh actor, director, producer, and writer who has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry. With a family background in acting, he was able to nurture his creativity and imagination from a young age. While initially interested in music, his passion for acting grew and he made his mark in the industry with his role in the BAFTA Cymru-winning film, ‘Daddy’s Girl’. Since then, he has been actively involved in the Wales theatre scene and has garnered critical acclaim for his performances. Notable highlights in his career include his role in the British romantic drama ‘Weekend’, which was a success both critically and commercially. He has also worked on historical drama series, science fiction-horror films, and crime-drama shows, showcasing his versatility as an actor. Currently, he is captivating audiences with his portrayal of a veteran of the Crusades in History’s ‘Knightfall’ and Guy Fawkes in BBC’s ‘Gunpowder’. With his talent and rising star status, Tom Cullen continues to make waves in the industry.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Thomas Cullen
  • Age: 38 Years, 38 Year Old Males
  • Family: siblings – Joseph Cullen, Ruth Cullen
  • Occupation: Actors, Directors
  • Height: 6’1″ (185 cm), 6’1″ Males
  • Notable Alumni: Royal Welsh College Of Music & Drama
  • Education: Royal Welsh College Of Music & Drama
  • Awards:
    • 2016 · Downton Abbey – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
    • 2011 · Weekend – British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer

Childhood & Early Life

Tom Cullen was born on July 17, 1985, in Aberystwyth, a historic market town in Wales. Both his parents are writers. He has a brother named Joseph and a sister named Ruth. Despite being the son of an Irish father and an English mother, he grew up fully assimilated into the Welsh culture.

In the early years, it was music that held much of his attention. He was raised in Llandrindod Wells before moving to Cardiff at the age of 12. He studied at the Llanishen High School and later attended Central School of Speech and Drama for a year. He then enrolled at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama from where he graduated in 2009 with a First Class Honours degree in Acting.

Career

From the very outset of his career, Tom Cullen demonstrated his natural talent for the craft. In 2006, while still a college student, he debuted on screen with the Welsh horror film ‘Daddy’s Girl’ (also known as ‘Cravings’), playing a character named Jason. The movie won the Best Film Award at the 2008 British Academy Cymru Awards.

During this period, he regularly appeared on stage as well. He performed in the productions of ‘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.

He then acted in a series of short films: ‘Watch Me’ (2008), ‘20 Questions’ (2009), and ‘Balance’ (2010). ‘Watch Me’ received a BAFTA Cymru nomination for the Best short film. In ‘20 Questions,’ he portrayed an unfaithful husband. Alternatively, he played a supportive husband in ‘Balance’.

In the ensuing years, he did three more shorts, ‘Henry’ (2012), ‘Room 8’ (2013), and ‘Trial’ (2016), with ‘Room 8’ winning BAFTA Award for Best British Short Film.

In 2010, he debuted on the small screen in the episode ‘Tokyo’ of the British docudrama ‘Banged Up Abroad’. Later, he worked in the S4C’s drama series ‘Pen Talar’.

He was cast as Russell, a quiet, reclusive lifeguard, in Andrew Haigh’s directorial venture ‘Weekend.’ The film registered an overwhelming critical acclaim and won several awards, including Audience Award for Emerging Visions at the SXSW Film Festival, Grand Jury for Best Film Award at the Nashville Film Festival, and Audience Award Best Film at the Toronto Inside Out LGBT Film Festival.

After making an appearance in an episode of the science fiction television anthology series ‘Black Mirror’ in 2011, he landed the role of Wulfric in the TV adaptation of Ken Follett’s historical fiction ‘World Without End’. The eight-episode miniseries originally aired in 2012.

For his next project, Cullen chose ‘The Last Days on Mars’ (2013), in which he played Richard Harrington, a scientist stationed on Mars. He was also involved in ‘Desert Dancer’ (2014), a movie based on the true story of Iranian choreographer and dancer Afshin Ghaffarian. In 2015, he shared screen space with Ray Winstone in the crime-drama ‘The Trials of Jimmy Rose’.

The year 2016 was the busiest one of his career as yet. He appeared in Joan Carr-Wiggin’s ‘Happily Ever After’, romanced his real-life partner Tatiana Maslany in ‘The Other Half’, and played a character named Jake opposite Idris Elba in ‘100 Streets’. In ‘Mine’, he collaborated with Armie Hammer and directors Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro. He also portrayed the main protagonist, Mark Wells, in Sky1’s ‘The Five’.

Following the success of ‘Vikings’, History’s next series ’Knightfall’ has garnered a lot of interest. The upcoming show also stars Sam Hazeldine, Simon Merrells, and Ed Stoppard.

The 2017 television drama ‘Gunpowder’ is based on the infamous Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Cullen’s Guy Fawkes is a recurring character in the series.

Major Works

Tom Cullen became part of the series ‘Downton Abbey’s ensemble cast in 2013, portraying the character Anthony “Tony” Foyle, the Viscount Gillingham. He is a childhood friend of Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) and later becomes her lover. To prepare for the role, he learned horse riding and how to act like an English nobleman from the early 20th century. His performance on the show was well-received by the critics and it established him as an up and coming star in the British entertainment industry.

Awards & Achievements

For his role in ‘Weekend’, Tom Cullen won the Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Award at the 2011 Nashville Film Festival and the Most Promising Newcomer Award at the 2011 British Independent Film Awards.

In 2016, he and the rest of the cast of ‘Downton Abbey’ received the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.

Personal Life

Tom Cullen met his partner, Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany, in Budapest, Hungary, in 2011 on the set of ‘World Without End’. They made their first public appearance together at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2012. The couple live together in Los Angeles, California.

Trivia

’Fresh Meat’ star Kimberley Nixon and Olivier Award-winning actor Aneurin Barnard were Cullen’s classmates at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (RWCMD) in Cardiff.

He was included in Screen International’s 2011 list of Stars of Tomorrow.

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