Allen Leech (born as Alan Leech on 18th May 1981; Killiney, Ireland) is an Irish stage, television and film actor, best known for his role as Marcus Agrippa in the 2007 HBO television series Rome, and his role as chauffeur Tom Branson in Downton Abbey television series.
He also guest-starred in The Tudors (a show in which Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kevin Doyle, Catherine Steadman and Max Brown also starred) as Francis Dereham, a lover of Queen Catherine Howard who was executed. He, Tuppence Middleton, Matthew Goode, and Andrew Havill starred together in the film The Imitation Game. He also starred alongside Hugh Bonneville, Daisy Lewis, Christine Lohr, Harriet Walter, David Robb, and Maggie Smith in From Time to Time, directed by Julian Fellowes.
Behind the scenes
- Leech, Jessica Brown-Findlay, and Downton Abbey writer and creator Julian Fellowes talked about Branson and Lady Sybil's relationship on the Downton Abbey Series 2 DVD special feature "Romance In A Time Of Warfare."
- Brown-Findlay: The connection she has with Branson is beautiful. In the first series, I never saw it. I never saw it sort of being romantic or anything like that. I never read it as that. She's just so happy for there to be someone she could talk to, and understand her. Their relationship's really interesting because he tells her everything. How he feels about her really, and then he understands that then that freaks her out. At a point, I think when Sybil is leaving home, she's gonna be living away for two months, just sort thinking "You're doing this now? You've had two years!"
- Leech: The war changes so much of how people view the aristocracy. And... and, so everything is there to play for then. So he just keeps trying to push her to kind of see if she'll come round to his way of thinking. Obviously, if you've see Jessica Brown-Findlay, it's not hard to play opposite her, in fairness, you know? Looking like you want to kiss her is kind of like, "Well, granted, that's not hard, it's you!"
- Fellowes: I'm sure plenty of people were attracted to each other across the barriers. But I think Sybil is essentially a rebel. And I think one of her ways of expressing her rebellion is Branson. I think it isn't only that she finds him attractive or is in love with. It suits her to have a statement of rebellion in her life choice.