Tom Cullen: Watching myself is hell

Tom Cullen

Tom Cullen says watching himself on Downton Abbey’s Christmas special is “hell on earth”.

The Welsh actor plays Lord Gillingham in the award-winning TV show, but tuning in on Christmas Day is not his idea of festive fun.

His mother will be watching though, as she’s desperate to see what happens with Tom’s character and his quest to seduce Lady Mary, played by Michelle Dockery.

“My mum wants to see it, but I don’t know. The idea of watching myself for two hours on Christmas Day is like hell on Earth really,” he laughed to British newspaper The Sun.

“Mum would be squealing or something. I’ve never watched anything that I’ve been in with her before so I think she might squeal.”

This year’s holiday special features a royal theme, with a host of characters attending a debutante ball at Buckingham Palace.

Julian Ovenden, who portrays Charles Blake, is one actor who’s pleased that the royal visit was just pretend.

In real life he’s far from the smooth operator he is on screen, and is actually very accident prone.

“The problem is I sort of just do things. I’m impulsive and sometimes I don’t think. Luckily it’s very useful to have a few scars as a character. Some years ago my manager lent me her brand-new Beetle in Los Angeles while she was in England. I was parked in the studio next to one of these massive trucks that you get in America, and when I got back, the truck had taken a chunk out of the car.

“It was a nightmare. But my manager was so cool – she said, ‘Don’t worry, you can use my Mercedes.’ Just three days later, a car smashed into me on the motorway and there was a big bump on the side. Dreadful – but that’s the kind of thing that happens to me,” Julian laughed.

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