Download a new talent:
He breathed new life into The Walking Dead, playing Jesus. Now, in the movie MindGamers, actor Tom Payne takes on the role of a neuroscientist who can link human minds
THE RED BULLETIN: MindGamers is about a computer that can transfer abilities from one human to another. Would you want to use one in real life?
TOM PAYNE: Yeah, I would love to be able to paint and draw, so I’d love to download that. I’m constantly amazed at how talented some people are, and how they can interpret reality or just make something up. I’m so envious of people who can paint and draw.
If an online marketplace for skills did exist, what would you be able to offer for others to download?
I consider myself a person with a lot of empathy. Sometimes I’m amazed when people don’t have that, and they can’t put themselves in someone else’s shoes and understand where that person is coming from. So I would love more people to feel empathy in the way I do. Yeah, that’s something I would probably upload.
Who did you identify with when you were getting started as an actor?
I didn’t have any heroes in the traditional sense. Actually, the first person I really had a reaction to was the Dalai Lama. When I was 19, I visited Australia on a trip, and I went to see him. The energy he exudes is really cool.
But don’t you have to be a bit selfish as an actor?
Yes, you do! On The Walking Dead, you have to look after yourself to a certain extent, and understand where the camera is at a certain time; that’s a skill in itself. It’s like that because the show has such a big cast. It can mean that I intentionally move into the frame or into the focus of a scene.
In The Walking Dead, you play Jesus, a character for whom solidarity and compassion are important. Which of the show’s other characters could do with a hug every now and again?
Daryl, definitely. Daryl urgently needs a big hug.
FULL NAME: Thomas Payne
BORN: 21 December 1982 (age 34), Chelmsford, Essex, England
PARTNER: Jennifer Åkerman
BREAKOUT ROLE: Brett Aspinall in TV drama series Waterloo Road (2007-08)
FAMOUS ROLES: Rob Cole in The Physician (2013), Paul “Jesus” Rovia in TV series The Walking Dead (2016-present)
UPCOMING FILMS: MindGamers (2017)
GOOD TO KNOW: Payne is a big fan of the The Walking Dead comic books and read all of them to prepare for his role