OBLIV­I­OUS SEX SYM­BOL GAME FOR A CHAL­LENGE

Herald Sun - Switched On - - COVER STORY - SHAN­NON MOL­LOY EN­TER­TAIN­MENT WRITER

The web­site Tum­blr is home to a grow­ing num­ber of pic­to­rial trib­utes to Tom Hughes and his sta­tus as a stone-cold stud.

But the mod­est Bri­tish ac­tor, star of the new BBC First drama The Game, is obliv­i­ous to the fact he’s be­come some­thing of a sex sym­bol since his ca­reer be­gan to boom a few years ago.

Hughes, 28, doesn’t even have a Face­book pro­file.

“Gee, it’s news to me,” he says. “It’s nice to know that things about me are out there. I’m not re­ally a web guy. I had no idea I was all over it.”

For the kid who al­ways dreamt of be­ing an ac­tor, it’s about the qual­ity of the project and the in­tegrity of the story — and Hughes says he found an abun­dance of both with The Game, set in the 1970s, in which he plays agent Joe Lambe.

“He’s a very chal­lenged char­ac­ter who ap­pears to be one thing on the face of it, a ded­i­cated spy, but deep down is iso­lated from the world and des­per­ately cold-hearted,” Hughes says.

“We’re all full of lies that we tell each other and our­selves, with con­tra­dic­tions in our per­son­al­i­ties. It’s those el­e­ments I love delv­ing into.

“That’s ac­tu­ally part of the rea­son I wanted this role. I want to learn and keep get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter as an ac­tor, and step­ping out­side my com­fort zone is the best way to do that.”

As well as an in­trigu­ing char­ac­ter, Hughes was at­tracted to the com­plex and al­lur­ing world of es­pi­onage.

“I don’t know if I spent my child­hood walk­ing around dreaming of be­ing a spy, but the height­ened at­mos­phere of it all is ex­cit­ing to ex­plore. Maybe we’ve all got an in­ner James Bond we want to connect with.”

Some of Hughes’s cred­its in­clude the film About Time and tele­vi­sion se­ries Ceme­tery Junc­tion and Silk. He’s cur­rently in Spain film­ing the sci-fi movie Project Lazarus.

He is also recog­nis­able as the face of the Burberry win­ter fash­ion cam­paign along­side fel­low ac­tor Emma Wat­son.

THE GAME, BBC FIRST, MON­DAY, 8.30PM

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