This week on The Walking Dead, we were introduced to Paul Rovia, otherwise known as Jesus. It was an auspicious debut for the character, who — in spite of duping Daryl and Rick and stealing a van — already seems to be well on his way to becoming a fan favorite. We don’t know that much about him yet, except that he’s really good at escaping from ropes, he can fight, and he’s wily. He’s also almost certainly from another survivor colony, the details of which we expect to find out in the coming episodes. Fans of the character probably don’t have to worry about his fate, however, as he’s listed on IMDb in every episode for the rest of the season.
The actor who plays Jesus, Tom Payne, may look unfamiliar to most in America, but he has been a relatively known actor in Britain for a while. In fact, he was named one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow in 2007. One of his first roles was for a British version of Wuthering Heights with Tom Hardy and his The Walking Dead co-star, Andrew Lincoln.
Prior to that, however, Payne made his feature film debut alongside Amy Adams in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.
American audiences, however, may most recognize him from HBO’s Luck, where he played Leon Micheaux, known in the series as “the Cajun.” He entered the series as a jockey who had never won.
His biggest success, however, was probably as the lead in the 2013 film The Physician with Ben Kingsley. Though the film was not released theatrically in the United States, it was a huge hit in Germany and went on to make a tidy $57 million internationally at the box office.
And yes, like many of the actors on The Walking Dead, Payne is British, so you won’t have to be shocked about hearing his native accent two years from now, here’s a taste to help you adjust.
I suspect that Payne is probably going to be a big hit with The Walking Dead fans.
He does, however, have a girlfriend.
And a beard comb.
Look for more of Tom Payne and his character this Sunday on The Walking Dead.