Yorkshire native Thomas Howes trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. A pianist and composer, he put his diverse skills to work in Downton Abbey, convincing Julian Fellowes to allowing him to provide background music in a number of scenes. But season 2 required a different skill set altogether when he filmed in the trenches. "I like all that stuff. I've always got into stunts; even at drama school, I was falling down trap doors, and swinging in on ropes. I really love a challenge, but in Downton it was really hard going because there's no CGI — what you see is what you get. These were real explosions right in front of our faces, and you just had to make sure that you cleared out of the way."