Rob James-Col­lier

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - TELE­VI­SION -


Rob James-Col­lier stum­bled into act­ing. His first ex­pe­ri­ence with the craft was when he was asked by a des­per­ate friend, who was one ac­tor short, to fill in for his film shoot. Shortly af­ter that, Rob found an act­ing coach in the Yel­low Pages and started tak­ing act­ing classes af­ter work, and so be­gan the ca­reer of this hand­some English heart-throb.

De­spite lim­ited act­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, Rob scored the role of a wom­an­is­ing pub land­lord in the se­ries Down to Earth when he con­vinced stars

Ricky Tom­lin­son and Denise Welch of his tal­ent.

Af­ter this he ap­peared in one-off episodes for a num­ber of tele­vi­sion se­ries, but in 2006 lucked out and joined the cast of

Coro­na­tion Street as one of two broth­ers who were buy­ing into the lo­cal un­der­wear fac­tory.


The busi­ness and mar­ket­ing grad­u­ate gained crit­i­cal ac­claim as Liam Con­nor in Coro­na­tion Street.

Liam’s sto­ry­lines cen­tred on his re­la­tion­ship with his preg­nant girl­friend, Maria Suther­land, who he agreed to marry. But se­cretly Liam was in love with Carla, and they pur­sued a tu­mul­tuous on-off love af­fair.

In 2008 Rob an­nounced he was leav­ing the Street, but planned to re­turn in the fu­ture. How­ever it was writ­ten into the script that Rob’s char­ac­ter would be bru­tally killed off as part of a mur­der-mys­tery sto­ry­line that would bring three of the soap’s favourite char­ac­ters un­der sus­pi­cion for the mur­der.

It turned out Liam was mur­dered by Carla’s fi­ancé, who felt threat­ened by their ob­vi­ous af­fec­tion for one an­other. The sto­ry­line won Rob Best Exit at the 2009 Bri­tish Soap Awards.

The good-look­ing ac­tor also tried his hand at mod­el­ling, and was the face of Bri­tish cat­a­logue re­tailer Ar­gos Com­pany in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, he was awarded the ti­tles of Sex­i­est Male and Best New­comer at Bri­tain’s In­side Soap Awards.


Through­out his time on Coro­na­tion Street, Rob also had a num­ber of one-off ap­pear­ances in other tele­vi­sion pro­grammes. Af­ter leav­ing the show, he was of­fered the part of gay foot­man Thomas Bar­row in Down­ton Abbey, the role he is now most fa­mously known for, and one for which he won the Screen Ac­tors Guild Award for Out­stand­ing Per­for­mance by an En­sem­ble in a Drama Se­ries.

Rob says he was only meant to play the show’s no­to­ri­ous vil­lain for one sea­son, but his char­ac­ter ended up be­com­ing a se­ries favourite. The 40-year-old ac­tor is crit­i­cal of his early per­for­mances on Down­ton Abbey but says by the end of it he had re­ally honed his skills and re­fined the char­ac­ter.

He keeps his per­sonal life pri­vate but has a young son, born in 2010, with his part­ner Lau­ren Chandi­ram.

The ac­tor has joked that it’s eas­ier play­ing a gay char­ac­ter, such as Thomas Bar­row, be­cause his mis­sus does not get jeal­ous about his on­screen ro­mances.

“The ac­tor also tried his hand at mod­el­ling and was awarded the ti­tle of Sex­i­est Male. ”



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