Tom Payne is who breathed life into Paul Rovia, better known as Jesus, on AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead.’ Since his departure from the show in 2019, the actor continued a path in acting. Let’s learn more about his journey from TWD to his current endeavors in the entertainment industry.
Payne’s Rise in The Walking Dead
Before starting his career in acting, Payne had a background in gymnastics, an experience he later found valuable in preparing for the role of Jesus. This physicality was not new to Payne, as he had undergone training for previous roles, including horseback riding for the HBO series ‘Luck.’
Payne started his career in the UK with roles in productions like ‘Casualty,’ ‘Skins,’ ‘Wuthering Heights,’ and ‘Waterloo Road.’ In pursuit of broader opportunities, he moved from England to Los Angeles. Payne cited the cost of living and the chance to stretch his early acting income further as key reasons for this move.
The actor’s introduction to TWD fans in Season 6 was rather quick. He landed the role in a two-day process. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Payne said he was quite excited for his audition. As he had a brief time to prepare for the role, he needed a fake beard and hair extensions.
His Post-TWD Career
Payne left TWD in 2019 due to boredom and dissatisfaction with his character’s development. His character was killed off in Season 9, but after this departure, he did not pause in his career.
The actor also maintained a close connection with his fans, offering cameos in his Jesus character.
More recently, Payne has been involved in an upcoming project, ‘Horizon: An American Saga.‘ The film’s first chapter is scheduled to be released on June 28, 2024, with the second chapter set to release on August 16, 2024.
Payne’s Personal Life
Payne married Swedish singer-songwriter Jennifer Åkerman twice, first in December 2020 amid the pandemic and then again in a ceremony in November 2022. The couple also welcomed their first child, Harrison Magnus Austin Payne, in January 2022.