Welcome to Tom Payne Web, your source for the talented actor Tom Payne You may know him as Jesus on The Walking Dead and currently as Malcolm on Prodigal Son. We hope to bring you the latest news, photos and information on Tom! Please browse around and enjoy!

Tom Payne talks new thriller series

In Fox’s Monday-night drama thriller PRODIGAL SON, Tom Payne plays the title character, Malcolm Bright. Malcolm is a profiler of murderers, hired as a consultant at the NYPD after he’s fired by the FBI. When PRODIGAL SON begins, Malcolm hasn’t spoken to his father, Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen), in ten years. This is because Martin, a brilliant doctor, has murdered at least twenty-three people (maybe more). Martin has been locked up at a psych hospital since Malcolm, as a child, called the police on his dad. But solving some cases and saving lives requires expertise that Martin is uniquely qualified to provide, so Malcolm finds himself conferring with his father. This unnerves Malcolm – already suffering from his own psychological issues – and delights Martin.

Payne has spent his fair share of acting time dealing with gruesome death. The English actor played the kindly Paul “Jesus” Rovia on four seasons of THE WALKING DEAD. Payne’s other credits include the feature films IO, THE PHYSICIAN, INHERITANCE, and MY FUNNY VALENTINE, and the British TV series WATEROO ROAD and LUCK, as well as playing Linton in the 2009 U.K. miniseries adaptation of WUTHERING HEIGHTS.

Speaking at a Q&A session for PRODIGAL SON, Payne talks about his work on the series. In a follow-up conversation later, he goes into further detail.

Asked if he’s done any research into being a profiler, Payne says, “I think we’re really lucky in that there’s a wealth of material out there, fictional and true to life, to draw from. There are a few pockets out there of people [in real life] who are in the same position as me in the show. There’s one [podcast] in particular, which [executive producer] Sarah Schechter actually put me onto, called HAPPY FACE, about the daughter of a serial killer, and it follows her and her journey to talk to people who were affected by her father, directly and indirectly, and with her mother, and her relationship with her father, and the fears that she has, and the intense pain caused by having a father who’s a serial killer.

“So that was really helpful to me. It’s really hard to listen to, and made me cry many times, because there’s a lot of pain and hurt there. And the character in the show is in pretty much the same position and has a lot of walls up, but is intent on trying to understand his father and the similarities that may or may not exist between them.”

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Posted by anne on November 25th, 2019
‘Prodigal Son’ Star Tom Payne’s Advice for U.K. Actors to Transfer to the U.S.

Fans might know Tom Payne as Jesus, the bearded, long-haired martial artist on AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Since the British actor’s departure from the show last year, Payne has ditched the facial hair and mane, cleaning up to star on Fox’s new crime drama, “Prodigal Son,” on which he plays a criminal profiler whose father (Michael Sheen) is an infamous serial killer. The actor talks auditioning, getting his UK Equity card, and landing in America.

What has this role as Malcolm Bright on “Prodigal Son” added to your acting skills?
I think, primarily, acting is like working out a muscle; the more you get to do it, the bigger that muscle gets. When you’re leading a television show and you’re working every single day with other brilliant actors, you’re on top of your game. When I was on “The Walking Dead,” I was working with some great actors, but I wasn’t working very much. It wasn’t stretching me very much. Whereas on this show, I’m using every trick that I have and it’s pushing me in so many different directions. And to work with wonderful actors—Bellamy Young, Michael Sheen, and Lou Diamond Phillips, all these people who are really experienced and have all their tricks and their strengths—it’s really fun to get into a room and throw your skills around.

What advice would you give your younger self?
As a younger actor, I would’ve taken advice, but I would’ve still done what I wanted to do. [Laughs] I was pretty individualistic and went out and did my own thing, but then I got stuck in a rut in my career just before “The Walking Dead,” where I had fallen into trying to give the industry what I thought they wanted in auditions and trying to fit into some kind of mold. I had done a movie with Stellan Skarsgård; he had become a bit of a mentor for me, and I went to see him. He brought me back [by saying], “You have to do you. You have to be yourself and you have to try your hardest, but go with the qualities that are you.” After that, I did a test for something and then the second thing was “The Walking Dead.” Just falling back onto my natural strengths and my natural rhythms and not trying to force myself into something else. Ultimately, it’s got to be about trust in yourself. Don’t have too much bravado.

Do you take that mindset into auditions? How else do you prepare?
The industry has changed a lot even since I’ve been doing it. Auditions aren’t as prevalent now. I used to love auditioning. I loved going into the room and meeting casting directors. Most of all, I love being redirected; that’s where I feel like my strengths come into play. I can play the scene any way you want me to play the scene, and I think it’s fun to try scenes in different ways. I’m allergic to coming in with one take on the character. That goes back to my theater training in London. The way that I learned was you spent four weeks rehearsing and figuring things out, and I still carry that with me in my film and TV career. Right up until the minute before action, I’m trying stuff out, and I’m still trying stuff out in the scene.

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Posted by anne on November 8th, 2019
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EST: November 20, 2019
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Malcolm Bright, one of the best criminal psychologists around, uses his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve crimes.
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