7 Things About Theo James

Discover seven things about Theo James, from his Downton start to his Divergent stardom to his latest role as Sanditon‘s swoon-inducing leading man on MASTERPIECE on PBS!


  1. 1.

    He Shares a Birthday with Sanditon Author Jane Austen

    Both Jane Austen and Theo James were born on December 16 (though James was born in 1984.) His paternal grandfather is Greek, but James has English and Scottish blood as well.

  2. 2.

    He TV-Died in Downton  

    Not long after graduating from the prestigious Bristol Old Vic theatre school, James appeared in Season 1 of Downton Abbey as Turkish diplomat Kemal Pamuk, the catalyst for a multiple-season-spanning secret, and the man who seduced Lady Mary and didn’t live to tell the tale.

    James talks about his Downton experience on a MASTERPIECE Studio podcast episode coming in 2020—subscribe now so you won’t miss it!

  3. 3.

    His "Four" Was a Ten in Divergent

    As mysterious Dauntless instructor Tobias “Four” Eaton in the Divergent films, Theo James did many of his own stunts! Fans of the series should find much to love in Sanditon—while it’s certainly not by any stretch a futuristic dystopia, it does feature a strong-willed young woman who cracks the tough exterior of a hardened (and hot) hero (Theo James’ Sidney Parker) with a buried hurt in his past…

  4. 4.

    Ambassador for Awareness

    With a very personal connection to not just Greece, but the plight of refugees, Theo James travelled to Greece and France in 2016 and 2017 with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to shed light on the Syrian refugee crisis. A video from UNHCR reveals his family connection, “My grandfather was Greek, and when the Nazis came into Athens, he fled Greece and he went on a boat across the Aegean, ended up in Istanbul, and then as a refugee, ended up in Damascus.” In a statement for UNHCR, he adds, “We are all aware of how complex and politically charged the refugee crisis in Greece is. But to meet these families, these fathers and mothers struggling in the midst of one of the greatest humanitarian crises since the Second World War, was beyond anything I had expected. These are people like you and me fleeing their country out of total necessity. The only other option for them is war and death. UNHCR’s work with its partners, the Greek government and its people is imperative to the millions of refugees and their legacy.”

  5. 5.

    Ambassador for Hugo Boss

    As the face of Hugo Boss’ signature men’s cologne, The Scent, for two print campaigns, Theo James also filmed two TV commercials with director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), first with model Natasha Polys and second with model Anna Ewers.

  6. 6.

    Yes He Kahn (Sing & Play Guitar)

    Theo James doesn’t just smolder on the screen, do his own stunts, and shed light on the plight of refugees; he also sings and plays the guitar—in a band called Shere Kahn (until 2012). While the band is now defunct, performance footage of the man of many talents remains on the Internet, just a short search away.

  7. 7.

    Quite a Production!

    This busy actor of the stage and screens large and small is also upping his offscreen profile with the launch of a new production company, Untapped. Along with producer Andrew D. Corkin, he will be producing genre feature film and TV projects, including thrillers. First up—and also starring Theo James—will be a sci-fi feature, Archive.

Find out more about Theo James and Sanditon when you subscribe to the MASTERPIECE email newsletter. You’ll get Theo James videos and latest Sanditon scoop, plus news about other great MASTERPIECE shows you’re certain to love.

Why wait for the seaside romance, drama, and wit to unfold week-by-week? With PBS Passport, an added member benefit, you can binge the entire season of Sanditon, beginning on January 12, 2020!
Learn more about streaming MASTERPIECE shows on Passport.

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