Dan Stevens

Dan Stevens
Dan Stevens

Dan Stevens was born in Croydon, Surrey in 1982. He gave an acclaimed performance in 2006 in “The Line of Beauty”. His other films include “Hide” and “The Turn of the Screw”. He  starred as Matthew Crawley on television in the award winning period drama “Downton Abbey”.

TCM Overview:

Classically trained actor Dan Stevens had all the makings of a romantic lead, yet it was not until he appeared on the critically acclaimed period drama “Downton Abbey” (ITV, 2010- ), that audiences truly took notice. Starting off his career on stage, he first made his mark onscreen with a starring role in the miniseries “The Line of Beauty” (BBC, 2006), as a young gay man living in the materialistic and careless “Thatcherite” Britain of the 1980s. Stevens continued to impress on television, with featured roles in made-for-TV films, including BBC’s “Dracula” (2006) and the real life-inspired drama “Maxwell” (2007). As his career thrived, he gravitated towards characters with refined manners and moral intentions, similar to the role he played on the television adaptation of the classic novel “Sense & Sensibility” (BBC, 2008). Yet, it was his role on the beloved series “Downton Abbey,” as an upright young aristocrat who treated everyone equally despite their class strata, which made Stevens brought the actor international stardom.

Daniel Jonathan Stevens was born on Oct. 10, 1982 in Surrey, England to parents who were both teachers. He started acting at an early age, first at Tonbridge School and then at the National Youth Theatre in England. An English literature major at Emmanuel College in Cambridge, Stevens performed in several student productions, including the title role in a 2002 performance of William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth.” While he was still a student, he had a featured role on the American miniseries “Frankenstein” (Hallmark, 2004). After his college graduation, Steven went on to perform in a string of stage productions, including Peter Hall’s “As You Like It” (2004), which also held performances in California and New York City in 2005. By the mid-2000s, Stevens started to make inroads on British television, beginning with a lead role in the 2006 miniseries “The Line of Beauty,” based on Alan Hollinghurst’s 2004 bestseller, in which Stevens played a gay post-graduate student who moves in with his best friend’s wealthy family. The story explored his character’s experiences with the British upper class, and his love affairs at a time when the AIDs crisis was beginning.

Stevens continued with his television projects, appearing in a string of made-for-TV movies including “Dracula,” the crime drama “Miss Marple: Nemesis” (ITV, 2007), and the true-life story “Maxwell,” as a financial director who had a first-hand account of the monetary and marital downfall of Robert Maxwell (David Suchet). Stevens starred in the 2008 television adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic 1811 novel “Sense & Sensibility,” as the shy and dependable admirer of the novel’s protagonist Elinor Dashwood (Hattie Morahan). In 2010, Stevens finally nabbed the role that would make him an international celebrity on Julian Fellowes’ award-winning, period drama “Downton Abbey,” about the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. He portrayed Matthew Crawley, a lawyer who was also the family’s heir presumptive and husband of Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery). In spite of his boyish appeal and seeming distaste for his family’s lavish lifestyle, Crowley still managed to endear himself to his wealthy relatives and their servants. He also enjoyed one of the series’ most exciting plot lines, ranging from his time as a wounded war hero and as a determined suitor to the standoffish Lady Mary. A series favorite, Stevens’ evolving characterization of Crawley nabbed most of the episodes’ buzz during the third season, and elicited mostly strong reactions from its international audience.

By Candy Cuenco

The above TCM overview can also be accessed online here.

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