If you don't know the name Tom Cullen yet, you will. Already a big star in the UK, this handsome Welshman will be playing Lord Gillingham, also known as Anthony Foyle, a potential suitor for the widowed Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) — and seriously, he's so ridiculously smokin' that our televisions are on fire.
Tom may be a familiar face to you from the 2011 indie film hit Weekend, or from the Ridley Scott directed miniseries World Without End — or from our hot dudes with books gallery. Frankly, we're looking forward to getting to know him a little better.
Read on for five things you may not have known about Downton Abbey actor (and our future husband) Tom Cullen.
He Plays the Ukulele. In his Twitter bio, Tom calls himself a "Ukulele basher." To our untrained American ears, that might sound like he hates ukuleles, but seriously — he's a fan.
"Love my Uke," he said to a fan on Twitter. "Best thing ever."
His Favorite Downton Character Is the Dowager Countess. When asked about his favorite character by a fan on Twitter, Tom said that he feels the same way anybody does. "Violet Dowager Countess, hands down," he responded. "A perfect mix of cutting humour and surprising empathy."
He's not just a fan of the Dowager, but of Dame Maggie Smith herself, too. "Maggie is one of the greatest actors ever. It was an honour," he gushed a couple of minutes later. "I learnt so much just watching her. Very lucky."
He Has a Favorite Word — and it's Lush. When a fan tweeted him to say that the new "chaps" on Downton are "rather lush," Tom was blown away. "'Lush' is actually my favourite word," he responded. "Can't tell you how much this means to me. I'm touched."
He does have a demonstrated history with the word — earlier, he'd tweeted, "Slow dancing around my trailer to Beirut. Lush."
He's Dating Orphan Black Star Tatiana Maslany. Another imported show has been taking the US by storm: Canadian sci-fi series Orphan Black. Its gorgeous star, Tatiana Maslany, is Tom's main squeeze, and he's shouting it from the rooftops. And by "rooftops," we of course mean Twitter.
"Words cannot describe the pride that is pouring out [of] me for the extraordinary [Tatiana Maslany]," Tom tweeted when his lady got her Golden Globe nomination on December 12, totally ignoring Downton's nom for Best Drama Series. "She is my inspiration. Everyday."
In June, while tweeting along with an Orphan Black episode, he called her performance a "tour de force" and "mind-blowing." Aww!
He's Been Super Romantic From an Early Age. “When I was 17, I had my first proper girlfriend, and on Valentine’s Day, I painted a canvas of her, bought her a massage, put flowers on the stairs, and ran a bath," Tom admitted to Interview. Most 17-year-olds barely remember Valentine's Day! Good for him.
Even now, the 28-year-old still tries to be a romantic in his everyday life! When asked by a fan if he shares any traits with his character, Lord Gillingham, Tom responded, "I know what I want and I go for it," adding, "I try to be as romantic as him."
Downton Abbey premieres in the U.S. on Sunday, January 5 on PBS.