Dan Stevens is so hot right now. For someone who wasn’t very well known to audiences outside of the UK until a few years ago, it’s pretty impressive that Stevens’ face is suddenly everywhere.
You might even say Dan Stevens is a beast. No, really. Stevens plays Beast (and the Prince, of course) in Disney’s new live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. The 34-year-old actor from Croydon, UK is also making waves for his starring role in the fan-favorite FX series Legion, based on the Marvel comic of the same name.
— Dan Stevens (@thatdanstevens) February 9, 2017
How did he get here? Fans of Downton Abbey have known Stevens since 2010 as Matthew Crawley, cousin and dearest beau to Lady Mary. But Stevens made a surprise exit from the show in 2012 when his character tragically died in a car crash.
It was Stevens’ own choice to leave the part of Matthew while Downton was at the peak of its popularity. “It’s a desire for freedom really,” he told the UK’s Telegraph.
“I don’t see money or a particular status as an actor as a goal but I want to do the best work I can in as interesting a range of roles as I can. And I think a moment like this is quite unique and presents those opportunities more than ever before,” Stevens said.
It’s always risky for an actor to leave a popular TV show with the hopes of expanding their career. And it doesn’t always go as planned. But Stevens made the right call. He left Downton, and he’s been killing it ever since. Literally… Stevens is killing it. He gave a terrifying performance as the murderous villain in the 2014 horror-thriller, The Guest. And he played another ne’er-do-well in when he starred opposite Liam Neeson in A Walk Among the Tombstones.
Following Beauty and the Beast, fans can look for Stevens in the indie drama The Ticket, in which he stars alongside Malin Ackerman. And there’s more to come from Stevens, no doubt. His career hot streak shows no signs of being extinguished any time soon.