The new Netflix limited series Behind Her Eyes ascended to become the No. 1 most-viewed media on the streaming service, Forbes reported on February 19, and fans are infatuated with the actor who plays David on the show. It is based on the bestselling book by Sarah Pinborough and follows Louise, a single mother “who enters a world of twisted mind games when she begins an affair with her psychiatrist boss while secretly befriending his mysterious wife,” according to the series’ official description.
British actor Tom Bateman portrays David, Louise’s boss and love interest, and while he might be a relative newcomer to American audiences, his talent is no surprise to viewers in the UK. According to his IMDb profile, the 31-year-old actor was a first-season regular on the British-French crime drama The Tunnel, which aired three seasons in France and the UK. He also was a recurring character on the BBC and Starz collaboration of Da Vinci’s Demons, which fictionalized Leonardo da Vinci’s early life, and played Dr. Robert Jekyll in the UK’s TV mini-series production of Jekyll and Hyde in 2015.
He skydived without permission while filming a movie
In 2017, Bateman appeared on the American big screen alongside big-name actors in two major studio films: Murder on the Orient Express, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, and Johnny Depp, and Snatched starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn. In 2015, he talked with Marie Clare about working with Dench, sharing that the first time he met her was while working on a play together in London. “The first thing I said to Judi was, ‘Hello, I’m sh***ing myself with nerves,'” he told the magazine, adding that her response was, “‘Me too, that never goes away.”‘
He also admitted to GQ UK that he had no idea who Amy Schumer was prior to being cast as her love interest in Snatched. After looking her up, he decided she was a talented comedian, but admits his off-set antics got him in hot water during filming of that movie. He went skydiving without the executive producer’s permission, which could have left him injured and delayed production, he explained.
Bateman also shared the screen with Liam Neeson in the 2019 movie Cold Pursuit, in which he played a villainous drug dealer (per IMDb).
He has a twin brother named Merlin
Born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, Bateman comes from a large working-class family. According to his profile on PBS, he has 13 siblings, one of whom is a twin brother named Merlin. He jokingly told GQ that when his family attends his premieres, he has to herd them “like cats.”
In a video interview with People, the 6-foot-2 tall actor said he and his twin brother were the second youngest amongst his siblings. When asked how his twin brother feels about the actor’s rising sex symbol status, Bateman laughed. “Merlin is better looking than me, so he will claim that as well,” he said. He added that he looked almost identical to his younger brother, Ben.
He said his family was very proud, and he explained his siblings had a mix of various careers, including hospitality, teaching, and real estate. He added that he has siblings who are airline pilots and one who works for the Red Cross. He joked that he “was the stupidest one.”
He'd love to play the next James Bond
For years, the handsome British actor’s name has been rumored to be on the consideration list to play James Bond after Daniel Craig’s exit from the role. In 2019, he told Good Morning Britain rumors about Bond casting followed any British actor in a tuxedo (via YouTube). “I don’t think there’s an actor alive who would say no that,” he added. Other actors rumored to be in consideration include British actors Henry Cavill, Theo James, and Idris Elba, according to Yahoo! Movies.
When asked if he’d be interested in pursuing the role, Bateman told GQ UK that he’d be thrilled to get the role even though it wouldn’t come without challenges. “I can’t imagine the pressure of taking on that mantle, but it would be great to have a young Bond,” he said.
If you want to see Bateman as Bond, don’t get your hopes up, according to Celebrity Cover News, who reported the odds were not in his favor in 2019. Maybe the success of Behind Her Eyes will change that.
He's been in a lot of period dramas
As an acclaimed stage performer in the UK, Bateman seems to enjoy getting dressed in period costume and playing historical figures. He played the lead role of John Beecham in Beecham House, a PBS Masterpiece series is set in 1795 in Delhi during the Mughal Empire period (via PBS). He has also had a lead role in the UK mini-series Vanity Fair, which was based on the 1848 novel of the same name by William Makepeace Thackeray (via IMDb).
He told PBS, “The reason I love filming period dramas, is that they instantly make you act differently. People don’t talk about their feelings as much. They don’t say, ‘Oh, I really fancy you.’ And you don’t touch each other. So, you have to add another way of expressing those feelings which is really fun.” In addition to these series, Batemen not only appeared in Murder on the Orient Express but is set to reprise his role in the upcoming sequel, Death on the Nile, which is set in the 1930s.
He's rumored to be dating or married to his co-star
Bateman reportedly has a special person in his life, but the private actor has never confirmed or denied their relationship. Since 2017, various publications have linked him to his Murder on the Orient Express co-star Daisy Ridley, best known for her role as Rey in the Star Wars franchise. In late 2020, Extra reported the two could be secretly married, although neither star has confirmed it.
Bustle recently created a timeline of tabloid reports about the couple, which includes rumors the two moved in together in 2019 and documents photographs showing Ridley wearing what appears to be both engagement and wedding rings. In a profile for Marie Clare, Ridley told the magazine she wanted to keep her private life out of the limelight. “The thing is, I’ve never talked about my personal life. So I won’t talk about it now,” she said.
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