Tom Payne (actor)

Thomas Payne is an English actor. He is known for appearing on AMC's The Walking Dead as Paul "Jesus" Rovia. He currently portrays Malcolm Bright on the 2019 American television series Prodigal Son.

Early life

Payne was born in Chelmsford, Essex, and grew up in Bath, Somerset, where he attended King Edward's School and was a prolific contributor to the school's drama department. He attended the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, graduating in June 2005. He then appeared in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.


In January 2007, he first appeared in Waterloo Road for the BBC, playing sixth former Brett Aspinall. Despite being 24 at the time, Payne portrayed a 17-year-old character. He remained in the series until the end of the following season in March 2008. It was revealed afterwards that he would not be returning for the new season, beginning in January 2009.
In 2009, Payne played George Best in , a BBC2 film about the legendary footballer. In the same year he appeared in Marple: They Do It With Mirrors and Wuthering Heights for ITV.
Payne was named as one of Screen International's Stars of Tomorrow 2007.
On 8 March 2010, it was announced that Tom had joined the cast of Luck a new pilot for HBO directed by Michael Mann, written by David Milch, starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. He plays the role of a Cajun jockey.
In 2012, he was cast in the title role of The Physician alongside Stellan Skarsgard and Ben Kingsley.
Payne was cast with a recurring role in Season 6 of The Walking Dead, as Paul "Jesus" Rovia, and promoted to series regular for season 7. Tom remained for two seasons until his character was killed off in season nine.
In 2019, Payne was cast in the lead role as a serial killer's son in the Fox police procedural series Prodigal Son.

Personal life

Payne has been dating singer Jennifer Åkerman since late 2013. He later revealed on an episode of Talking Dead that they are engaged.
His younger brother Will Payne is also an actor.


2005CasualtyToby TylerEpisode: "Love and Duty"
2007SkinsSpencerEpisode: "Effy"
2007Miss Marie LloydBernardTelevision film
2007–2008Waterloo RoadBrett AspinallRecurring role, 32 episodes
2008He Kills CoppersJonny TaylorTelevision film
2009Wuthering HeightsLinton2 episodes
2009Miss MarpleEdgar LawsonEpisode: "They Do It with Mirrors"
2009George BestTelevision film
2009Beautiful PeopleMr. CarrEpisode: "How I Got My Plumes"
2010The People vs. George LucasHimselfDocumentary
2011–2012LuckLeon Micheaux9 episodes
2014New WorldsMonmouth4 episodes
2016–2019The Walking DeadPaul "Jesus" RoviaRecurring
Main cast
25 episodes
2016–2018Talking DeadHimself7 episodes
2017The Nightly ShowHimselfEpisode: "With David Walliams - Night Four"
2018Fear the Walking DeadPaul "Jesus" RoviaEpisode: "What's Your Story?"
2019–presentProdigal SonMalcolm BrightMain role