Rob James-Collier, known in Britain for his role as Liam in the long-running soap Coronation Street, happened on his acting career quite by accident. Joining a film shoot when an actor failed to show up, he was bitten by the acting bug and started taking drama classes. An agent — and premeditated — roles soon followed.
Of his experience bringing Thomas to war, James-Collier attributes much to Downton Abbey's historical advisor, Alastair Bruce. "Alastair told us about his own military experience. I won't reveal what he told us — I don't want to breach his privacy. But I'm forever grateful. It gave me the inspiration to try and do something with this story. Of course you can never portray the events of war exactly as they were because you've never been there, thank God. You can only try your best to play it as realistically as you can."