Dan Stevens was surrounded by controversy when he decided to leave Downton Abbey to pursue a Hollywood movie career. Now, with two films coming out almost simultaneously (The Guest and A Walk Among the Tombstones), his roles are nothing the one from the super popular period drama.
“It thrills me when people say ‘Oh, I saw Tombstones and I had no idea it was Matthew from Downtown.’ That’s kind of the point. It’s great,” Stevens tells Cine Movie in an interview to promote the thriller, which also stars Liam Neeson.
After the storm calmed down following his unexpected departure from Downton Abbey at the end of Season 3, Dan Stevens reinvented himself. He had a stint on Broadway, opposite Jessica Chastain, in the revival of The Heiress. After that, dropped off the map, so to speak.
When Steven re-emerged, he looked very different from what fans were used to seeing on their television screens every Sunday night. First, his classic blonde hair was replaced by a jet black color (shocking!). Secondly, and what upset fans more than the hair color, is that he had dropped an amazing amount of weight (30 pounds). Dan looked positively skinny, and many were taken aback by that.
What many didn’t realize was that the weight loss was necessary to play the role for A Walk Among the Tombstones, and Dan was perfectly fine with that. The fact that he plays less than nice guys is also a big difference from his previous, more mellow roles. In both new films, he plays undesirable characters.
But not to worry; after filming for Tombstones was completed, Dan gained his weight back (for The Guest), and looks more like himself now, though the dark hair remains. Stevens also stars in Night at The Museum: Secret of the Tomb, another movie which opens in December. For that part, he had to put on heavy armor in order to play Sir Lancelot alongside Ben Stiller and the late Robin Williams.
To say that the experience of going from a mostly television actor to starring roles with some of the biggest names in showbiz has been surreal would be an understatement.
“At times for sure. It’s been amazing year just working with a number of my childhood heroes..Liam Neeson, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler in ‘The Cobbler’ and John (Travolta) in ‘Criminal Activities.’ It is quite extraordinary, but whats really exciting for me is seeing how these guys work especially on ‘Tombstones.'”
You can see Dan Stevens in A Walk Among the Tombstones, opening on Friday, and in The Guest, now playing in limited theaters.
[Image via CineMovie]