Tom Payne (actor)

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Tom Payne
Tom Payne 2016.jpg
Tom Payne at Walker Stalker Con in 2016
Born (1982-12-21) 21 December 1982 (age 36)
Chelmsford, Essex, England
EducationRoyal Central School of Speech & Drama
Years active2007–present
Partner(s)Jennifer Åkerman (2013–present; engaged)
Parent(s)Jeremy Payne
RelativesWill Payne (brother)

Thomas Payne (born 21 December 1982) is an English actor. He is known for appearing on AMC's The Walking Dead as Paul "Jesus" Rovia. He is also known for playing Malcom Bright in the 2019 American television series Prodigal Son.

Early life[edit]

Payne was born in Chelmsford, Essex, and grew up in Bath, Somerset, where he attended King Edward's School and was a prolific contributor to the school's drama department. He attended the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, graduating in June 2005. He then appeared in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.


In January 2007, he first appeared in Waterloo Road for the BBC, playing sixth former Brett Aspinall. Despite being 24 at the time, Payne portrayed a 17-year-old character. He remained in the series until the end of the following season in March 2008. It was revealed afterwards that he would not be returning for the new season, beginning in January 2009.

In 2009, Payne played George Best in Best: His Mother's Son, a BBC 2 film about the legendary footballer.[1] In the same year he appeared in Marple: They Do It With Mirrors and Wuthering Heights for ITV.

Payne was named as one of Screen International's Stars of Tomorrow 2007.[2]

On 8 March 2010, it was announced that Tom had joined the cast of Luck a new pilot for HBO directed by Michael Mann, written by David Milch, starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte.[3] He plays the role of a Cajun jockey.

In 2012, he was cast in the title role of The Physician (based on the book of the same name) alongside Stellan Skarsgard and Ben Kingsley.

Payne was cast with a recurring role in Season 6 of The Walking Dead, as Paul "Jesus" Rovia,[4][5] and promoted to series regular for season 7.[6]

In 2019, Payne was cast in the lead role as a serial killer's son in the Fox police procedural series Prodigal Son.[7][8][9]

Personal life[edit]

Payne has been dating singer Jennifer Åkerman since late 2013. He later revealed on an episode of Talking Dead that they are engaged.

His younger brother Will Payne is also an actor.


List of appearances and roles in feature films
Year Title Role Notes
2008 Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day Phil Goldman
2009 Into the Rose-Garden Sam Short film
2011 The Task Stanton
Generation Perdue Toby Perdue Short film
2012 The Inheritance Matthew
My Funny Valentine Zander
Still Young Edward Short film
2013 The Physician Rob Cole
2015 Winter Tom
MindGamers Jaxon
2017 It's No Game East Short film
2019 IO Elon Voice role
List of appearances in television series and specials
Year Title Role Notes
2005 Casualty Toby Tyler Episode: "Love and Duty"
2007 Skins Spencer Episode: "Effy"
Miss Marie Lloyd Bernard Television film
2007–2008 Waterloo Road Brett Aspinall Recurring role, 32 episodes
2008 He Kills Coppers Jonny Taylor Television film
2009 Wuthering Heights Linton 2 episodes
Miss Marple Edgar Lawson Episode: "They Do It with Mirrors"
Best: His Mother's Son George Best Television film
Beautiful People Mr. Carr Episode: "How I Got My Plumes"
2010 The People vs. George Lucas Himself Documentary
2011–2012 Luck Leon Micheaux 9 episodes
2014 New Worlds Monmouth 4 episodes
2016–2019 The Walking Dead Paul "Jesus" Rovia Main role (season 7–9), recurring role (season 6); 25 episodes
2016–2018 Talking Dead Himself 7 episodes
2017 The Nightly Show Episode: "With David Walliams - Night Four"
2018 Fear the Walking Dead Paul "Jesus" Rovia Episode: "What's Your Story?"
2019–present Prodigal Son Malcolm Bright Main role


  1. ^ Reynolds, Simon (27 November 2008). "Payne to star as George Best in BBC drama". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  2. ^ Dobson, Patricia (12 July 2007). "UK Stars Of Tomorrow 2007: The Actors (3)". Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Four trying their 'Luck' in HBO pilot". The Hollywood Reporter. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Jesus Speaks! The Walking Dead's Tom Payne Talks His Big Arrival and Surprising Connection to Andrew Lincoln". E! News. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Jesus speaks! New 'Walking Dead' cast addition Tom Payne gives first interview". Entertainment Weekly's Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  6. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (7 July 2016). "'Walking Dead' Promotes 4 to Series Regular for Season 7. Tom remained in The Walking Dead till Season 9 (2018/2019) until his character was killed off. (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  7. ^ Otterson, Joe (12 March 2019). "Tom Payne Takes Over Lead Role in Fox Pilot 'Prodigal Son' From Finn Jones". Variety.
  8. ^ Paige, Rachel (9 May 2019). "Scandal Alum Bellamy Young's New Show Prodigal Son Is Officially Heading to Fox". TV Guide.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (9 May 2019). "Fox Picks Up 4 New Drama Series: 'Prodigal Son', 'Deputy', 'NeXt' & Weisman/Katims; What Does It Mean For Network's Bubble Dramas?". Deadline.

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