Daniel Jonathan Stevens was born on October 10, 1982 in Croydon, England. He is known for his television roles as Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey and as David Haller on Legion, as well as his film role as the Beast in Disney’s 2017 live action remake of Beauty and the Beast.
Stevens attended Tonbridge School, a private school in Kent, and spent his summers with the National Youth Theatre. He would go on to study English literature at Cambridge University, where he was an active member of the university's Footlights Dramatic Club and The Marlowe Society.
On stage, Stevens's first major role was Orlando in a 2004 international tour of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, which made stops at the Rose Theatre in Kingston upon Thames, the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City, the Curran Theatre in San Francisco, and the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, among others. Following regional productions of Much Ado About Nothing in 2005 and The Romans in Britain in 2006, Stevens would appear alongside Peter Bowles and Dame Judi Dench in a West End revival of Noël Coward’s Hay Fever at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. In 2008, he would star in another Noël Coward West End revival, this time The Vortex at the Apollo Theatre. He made his National Theatre debut in Tom Stoppard’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favour in 2009, which he followed up with a role in the West End revival of Stoppard’s Arcadia at the Duke of York’s Theatre later that year. Stevens finally made his Broadway debut as Morris Townsend, opposite Jessica Chastain, in a 2012 revival of The Heiress at the Walter Kerr Theatre.
On screen, Stevens’s early credits included a string of BBC productions including The Line of Beauty (2006), Dracula (2006), Maxwell (2007), Sense & Sensibility (2008), and The Turn of the Screw (2009). His major breakthrough came in 2010 after landing the role of Matthew Crawley in ITV’s global phenomenon Downton Abbey, which catapulted him into stardom. He appeared in 25 episodes between 2010 and 2012. Over the next few years, his most notable screen credits included Vamps (2012), Summer in February (2013), The Guest (2014), The Cobbler (2014), A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014), and the role or Sir Lancelot in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014).
His next major role was mutant David Haller in FX’s X-Men spin-off series Legion, starring as the lead in 27 episodes which aired from 2017 through 2019. He also starred as the Beast in Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, opposite Emma Watson, in 2017. Since then, he has appeared in Marshall (2017), as Charles Dickens in The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017), Netflix’s Apostle (2018), and Lucy in the Sky (2019).
Stevens returned to Broadway to star as Mooney in the Royal Court Theatre/Atlantic Theater Company production of Hangmen at the Golden Theatre from February 28, 2020. However, the production was forced to shut down on March 11 after just 13 previews due to the COVID-19 pandemic.