Daniel Jonathan Stevens was born 10 October 1982 and is an English actor.
Stevens was adopted at birth, by parents who were both teachers, and grew up in Wales and southeast England. He has a younger brother who was also adopted. Stevens boarded on a scholarship at Tonbridge School, an independent school in Kent. There he became interested in drama after auditioning for the title role in Macbeth with his teacher, novelist Jonathan Smith. From the age of 15, he spent his summers training and performing with the National Youth Theatre in London.
Stevens studied English Literature at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He was first spotted by director Peter Hall at a Marlowe Society production of Macbeth, in which he played the title character alongside Hall’s daughter, actress Rebecca Hall.
In 2008, Stevens appeared in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, Sense & Sensibility, playing Edward Ferrars. In 2010, Stevens got his biggest break when he was cast as Matthew Crawley in the ITV series Downton Abbey. The central love story of Matthew Crawley and his distant cousin, Lady Mary Crawley, played by Michelle Dockery, was enormously popular. Determined to move on with his career, Stevens chose to leave the series after finishing the third season and the Christmas Special in 2012.
He also starred as David in the thriller film The Guest (2014), Sir Lancelot in the adventure film Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014), The Beast/Prince in Disney’s live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (2017), Lorin Willis in the biographical legal drama Marshall (2017), Charles Dickens in the biographical drama The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017). In 2019, Stevens co-starred in the drama Lucy in the Sky and Russian Eurovison singer Alexander Lemtov in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020). In 2020, Stevens also co-starred alongside Harrison Ford in The Call of the Wild.
From 2017 to 2019, he starred as David Haller in Legion. In 2018, he starred in the Netflix horror-thriller Apostle.
Stevens has narrated over 30 audiobooks.
Outside acting, Stevens maintains an interest in writing and literature and is editor-at-large for The Junket, an online quarterly which he co-founded in 2011 with some friends. He was a member of the judging panel for the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and was a regular columnist for the Sunday Telegraph.
A cricket enthusiast, he played for the Authors XI team, which is composed of a number of prominent British writers, in 2012. He also contributed a chapter to the team’s book The Authors XI: A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon.
Stevens is multilingual. Besides English, he is also fluent in French and German.