Sunday, 23 September 2012


Mr Leech *Downtown Abbey* was born in Killiney in Ireland and studied acting at Trinity College in Dublin, has appeared in two other historical dramas (HBO's Rome in 2007 and Showtime's The Tudors in 2010), he has a diverse set of films, TV shows and theatre productions under his belt. In the upcoming thriller The Sweeney he plays Simon Ellis, a member of a brutal-but-effective elite police squad - a world apart from the fanciful costumes and cut-glass accents of Downton. Meanwhile, Mr Leech describes the time he spent last year starring in Mr Mike Leigh's West End production Ecstasy as "One of the most enjoyable experiences I have had professionally", and he has another film releasing soon. Titled In Fear, it is a tense psychological horror flick produced for Film4 and StudioCanal.

Are there any characters you've played whose outfits have influenced your personal style?
"Well, the jacket I'm wearing right now is from The Sweeney so I guess I have! Not always, though. For [the 2003 film] Cowboys & Angels there was this red leather jacket, and as a joke I brought it out and said, "What about this for my character?" and of course it turned out it actually was his jacket, but in the end it looked great on camera."

As an actor do you feel there's pressure to look good?
"I think there is, yes. If I'm honest, I probably pay more attention to what I'm wearing when Downton is on, or when The Sweeney is out I think I'll be more aware of it. But at the end of the day, I cycle around London a lot so comfort is always a factor."

Which actors' style do you admire?
"Daniel Craig looks great both on screen as Bond and off screen. Ben Whishaw has good style as well."


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