Dan Stevens is a popular English actor known for his roles in the TV series ‘Downton Abbey’ where he portrayed Matthew Crawley and the horror thriller film ‘The Guest’, where he played the leading character David. Stevens was born in Croydon, London, in the UK. While still at school, he developed an interest in drama after he auditioned for the titular role in the Shakespearean play ‘Macbeth’. Later, while studying at the Cambridge University, he was spotted by English director Peter Hall during a production of the same play. He was then cast by Hall in a production of Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’. His debut performance was met with much appreciation. He made his film debut playing a role in the German biographical film ‘Hilde.’ The next year, he gained attention after he started playing Matthew Crawley in the American drama series ‘Downton Abbey’. He earned a Screen Actors Guild Award for his outstanding performance. He was paired opposite Emma Watson in the romantic fantasy film ‘Beauty and the Beast’, which was based on the famous fairytale of the same name. Besides acting, he has a keen interest in literature and serves as the editor-at-large for ‘The Junket,’ an online publication.
Childhood & Early Life
Dan Stevens was born on 10th October 1982 in Croydon, London. He was adopted by parents who were teachers. He has an adoptive younger brother as well, with whom he grew up in Wales and southeast England.
He studied at Tonbridge School, when he developed an interest in acting after he auditioned for the titular role in the play ‘Macbeth.’
From the age of 15, he also started taking summer training in the National Youth Theatre in London. Later, while he was studying at the Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, he was spotted by director Peter Hall when he was playing the titular character in ‘Macbeth’ alongside Hall’s daughter Rebecca Hall.
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In 2004, Dan Stevens began his professional career when he was cast by Peter Hall in his touring production of ‘As You Like it’, by the famous playwright William Shakespeare. He made his television debut the same year, appearing in two episodes of the miniseries ‘Frankenstein’. It was based on the book of the same name by Mary Shelley.
In 2006, he appeared in the miniseries ‘The Line of Beauty’ which was adapted from the novel of the same name by Alan Hollinghurst. The same year, he also played a supporting role in the TV film ‘Dracula’ which was adapted from Bram Stoker’s novel of the same name. He appeared in the TV film ‘Maxwell’ in a supporting role in 2007.
Meanwhile, he also continued to appear in plays, such as ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ (2005), ‘The Romans in Britain’ (2006) and ‘The Vortex’ (2008).
He made his feature film debut with the 2009 film ‘Hilde’. From 2010 to 2012, he appeared in the period drama series ‘Downton Abbey’ in an important role. His role not only brought him popularity but it also won him the ‘Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble’ (shared with rest of the cast).
After appearing in movies such as ‘Vamps’ (2012) and ‘The Fifth Estate’ (2013), he played his first lead role in the horror thriller film ‘The Guest’ (2014). Though the film was a commercial failure, it was met with positive reviews.
In 2014, he played main roles in the films ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ and ‘The Cobbler’. The former was a commercial success while the latter was a huge financial disaster.
He next appeared in the film ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ in 2014. Directed by Shawn Levy, the film was a huge success commercially. He was then seen in the crime thriller film ‘Criminal Activities’ in 2015.
He appeared in three films in 2016: the drama film ‘The Ticket’, the political drama ‘Moderate: The Tragic Rise and Fall of a New York Fixer’, and the sci-fi black comedy film ‘Colossal’.
His most successful work till date is undoubtedly the 2017 romantic fantasy film ‘Beauty and the Beast’. He appeared alongside the popular British actress Emma Watson, playing the male lead. The movie was based on the fairy tale of the same name. Directed by Bill Condon, the film was a huge success financially. It became the second highest grossing film of the year and was also received favorably by the critics.
His other recent works include the biographical drama film ‘Marshall’ as well as another biographical film ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’. Since January 2017, he has also been playing the lead role in the sci-fi psychological horror sci-fi TV series ‘Legion’.
Dan Stevens played one of the main roles in ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ which is an American comedy adventure film directed by Shawn Levy. It also starred actors, such as Ben Stiller, Ben Kingsley, Robin Williams and Owen Wilson. The film was made on a budget of $127 million. It was a commercial success, earning more than $363 million at the box office. It received mostly mixed reviews.
Another important work in Dan Stevens’ career is his lead role in the psychological horror sci-fi TV series ‘Legion’. The series is connected to the X-Men film series. Other actors in the series include Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris and Katie Aselton. The series has been airing since January 2017. It has received critical acclaim and has won multiple awards as well.
Stevens also gained international popularity for his lead role in the romantic fantasy film ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Directed by Bill Condon, the film is based on Disney’s 1991 film of the same name, which itself was an adaptation of the fairy tale of the same name. The film earned more than a billion dollars and became the second highest grossing film of the year. It was nominated for two Oscars as well as two BAFTA awards.
Dan Stevens is married to Susie Hariet, a South African singer and singing teacher. They got married in 2009, and had their first child, a daughter named Willow, the same year. They were blessed with their second child, a son Aubrey, in 2012. In 2016, they welcomed their third child, a daughter named Eden.