Meet the Cast of Tom Jones

The new adaptation of  Tom Jones is brimming with actors you may have seen before, including some longtime MASTERPIECE favorites, plus some thrilling newcomers. Learn more about the talented cast bringing Henry Fielding’s classic tale to life, including stars Solly McLeod, Sophie Wilde, Hannah Waddingham, James Fleet and Alun Armstrong.

  1. 1.

    Sophie Wilde

    MASTERPIECE newcomer Sophie Wilde starred as Mia in the 2022 film Talk to Me, about a group of friends who conjure spirits and deal with supernatural forces. She also appeared in two recent series: Eden, about the disappearance of a young woman, and the crime drama You Don’t Know Me, about a young man accused of murder.

    In Tom Jones, Wilde plays the story’s heroine and lovestruck heiress, Sophia Western. When Sophia returns home after years in Bath, she’s a refined young woman prepared for society and, according to her family, marriage. When she is reintroduced to the dashing Tom Jones, a friend from her childhood, it’s fancy at first sight.

    Listen to Sophie Wilde on the MASTERPIECE Studio podcast.


  2. 2.

    Solly McLeod

    Solly McLeod as Tom Jones
    Photo credit (left): Joseph Sinclair

    Solly McLeod makes his MASTERPIECE debut as Tom Jones. McLeod has appeared in a number of popular series, including Outlander as Private Lambie, and in the Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon as Ser Joffrey Lonmouth.

    Fun fact: When McLeod first heard about the series, he thought he’d be auditioning for a project about a very different Tom Jones, the famed Welsh singer of the same name.  “I thought, ‘I don’t look a thing like [the singer] Tom Jones. I can’t even do a Welsh accent…’ Then I read it and it wasn’t that Tom Jones,” McLeod told The Scottish Sun.

  3. 3.

    Hannah Waddingham

    Hannah Waddingham as Lady Bellaston in Tom Jones

    You may know scene stealer Hannah Waddingham from her recent breakout roles including as fierce professional football club owner Rebecca Welton in Ted Lasso, or as Sofia Marchetti, one of the mothers of an all-star student athlete, in Sex Education. Waddingham also portrayed the shame-bell-ringing, religious zealot Septa Unella in Game of Thrones. Eagle-eyed MASTERPIECE fans might even recall her role as Lola Brewster in Miss Marple, “The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side.”

    In Tom Jones, Waddingham plays Lady Bellaston, Sophia’s larger-than-life,  trickster aunt who is yet another family member who forbids Sophia’s relationship with Tom — though, that doesn’t mean she won’t try her hand at winning his attention for herself.

    Find out more about the fascinating life and career of Hannah Waddingham.


  4. 4.

    James Fleet

    James Fleet as Squire Allworthy

    In Tom Jones, James Fleet portrays Squire Allworthy. Longtime MASTERPIECE viewers will remember Fleet from previous roles such as Frederick Dorrit, the gentle and well-meaning brother of William Dorrit in Little Dorrit; Chris Lowe, one of the main suspects in a cold-case murder in Unforgotten Season 3; Lord Hawthorne in Indian Summers; and Colonel Merrick in Season 2 of All Creatures Great and Small.

    Fleet has also been seen as the older King George III in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story  as well as in the original Bridgerton series.  Prior to that, he appeared in Outlander as Reverend Wakefield, the 1970s Scottish reverend whose path crosses with main character Claire.

    Fans of the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility may know Fleet as the cold but respected John Dashwood. On film, Fleet has been seen in Phantom of the Opera and in Four Weddings and a Funeral.


  5. 5.

    Alun Armstrong

    Alun Armstrong as Squire Western in Tom Jones

    Prolific actor Alun Armstrong AKA Tom Jones‘ Squire Western will be very familiar to MASTERPIECE watchers. Armstrong has been seen repeatedly on MASTERPIECE, including (but certainly not limited to) roles in the Prime Suspect prequel series Prime Suspect: Tennison, Bleak HouseDavid CopperfieldFilth, and Dark Angel, which was also written by Tom Jones writer Gwyneth Hughes.

    Armstrong’s Tom Jones character Squire Western is the doting but hard-headed grandfather of Sophia. He adores his only granddaughter, whose father (Western’s son) passed long ago. He raised her for part of her youth, before sending her off to Bath with her Aunt Western to become a proper lady of society. When she returns, he is overjoyed, but also determined to see her married off, though not to Tom Jones, despite her wishes.

    Fun fact: Armstrong originated the role of Thénardier in the London production of Les Misérables in 1985 alongside Endeavour star Roger Allam, who played Inspector Javert. Watch a video of Armstrong singing “The Beggar at the Feast” during the 10th anniversary production in 1995.

  6. 6.

    Shirley Henderson

    Shirley Henderson as Aunt Western in Tom Jones

    Actress Shirley Henderson, who plays Aunt Western in Tom Jones, portrayed the recurring role of Moaning Myrtle, a young student turned haunting ghost, in the Harry Potter films. She has also been seen as loyal friend Jude in the Bridget Jones films, and as Aunt Sophie in Marie Antoinette (2005). Henderson has  appeared in shows such as Happy Valley Season 2, portraying the unnerving Frances Drummond, and in Treasure Island (2012) as Meg Hawkins.



  7. 7.

    Pearl Mackie

    Pearl Mackie as Honour in Tom Jones

    Actress Pearl Mackie, who plays Honour Newton in Tom Jones, has been seen in series across a number of genres. She has appeared in the sci-fi series Doctor Who as Bill Potts, a companion to the Twelfth Doctor, and recently in The Diplomat (2023), as a modern U.S. embassy aide. Mackie also narrated the 2021 documentary The Real Charlie Chaplin.

    Mackie’s Tom Jones character, Honour Newton, is Sophia’s lady’s maid, confidant, and friend, who may scold Sophia for her (oftentimes) impulsive decisions, but stays by her side through it all. She’s a no-nonsense realist who feels free to speak her mind to Sophia, almost acting as a much-needed older sister or motherly figure to the fanciful young heiress.

  8. 8.

    Tamzin Merchant

    Tamzin Merchant as Aunt Harriet in Tom Jones

    Tamzin Merchant portrays Aunt Harriet in Tom Jones. Her first on-screen credit, when she was just 18 years-old, was in the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as the young Georgiana Darcy, sister to Fitzwilliam Darcy. Since then, she has been seen in series such as The Tudors as Catherine Howard, and in Carnival Row as socialite Imogen Spurnrose. She also appeared in the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre as Mary Rivers, Jane’s cousin.

    MASTERPIECE viewers also may remember Merchant from her role in The Mystery of Edwin Drood as Rosa Bud, Drood’s fiancée, or from 2005’s My Family and Other Animals as Margot Durrell (not to be confused with the later series The Durrells in Corfu, in which Daisy Waterstone played Margot Durrell).

    Not only is Merchant a talented actress, but she’s also an author. Merchant published the first two novels of her middle grade (aimed for readers ages 8-12) magical fantasy series Cordelia Hatmaker in 2021 and 2022, with a third in the works.




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