Theo James Reflects on ‘Downton Abbey’ Role

Celebrity Q&A
on April 9, 2013

What else has Theo James from “Golden Boy” done?
—Arnold Stone, New London, Conn.

James, 28, is best known for his role as Jed Harper in the U.K. supernatural series “Bedlam,” but if you are a “Downton Abbey” fan, you might remember him for his short-lived role as Kemal Pamuk in season one. Kemal was the handsome Turkish diplomat who died in Lady Mary’s bed, forever changing her life.

“Even before I auditioned, he pops his cork,” says James, when asked if he wished there had been more to Kemal, considering the hit that “Downton” has become. “There wasn’t much I could do about it. Twenty minutes of screen time … I think having sex and then dying is pretty salacious.”

His film credits include “Underworld: Awakening” “The Inbetweeners Movie,” “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” “Red Tails” and “The Domino Effect.” He filmed the latter two while in his final year of training at the Bristol Old Vic Theater School.

These days, the Oxford, England-born actor is working on his American accent for the role of Walter William Clark Jr., the youngest ever New York City police commissioner, who is the “Golden Boy.”

“What I do is I get in the van in the morning and I speak in an American accent,” James says. “Rather, I speak in his accent. It is a very specific accent. I speak with his accent pretty much all week and on weekends, when I am having a few beers or tequilas, I can go back to being this English guy.”

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