Prior to his role as Jesus on The Walking Dead, Tom Payne starred on Luck, the critically acclaimed HBO series from creators Michael Mann and David Milch, which centered on the fast-paced and sometimes brutal sport of professional horse racing. Payne played the lead role of Leon Micheaux, a jockey in the center of this tumultuous world. Payne made his feature film debut in Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, opposite Amy Adams and Frances McDormand. He was cited as one of Screen International's Stars of Tomorrow. Other credits include the lead role in The Physician, as the title character, Rob Cole. Based on the bestselling novel by Noah Gordon about a young man who wants to learn medicine from a renowned scholar in Persia, the film also stars Sir Ben Kingsley, Stellan Skarsgaard, and Olivier Martinez. The film was released by Universal Pictures internationally. He also starred in the BBC telefilm Best, as the famous footballer George Best; Miss Marple, with Brian Cox; and Wuthering Heights, opposite Tom Hardy and Andrew Lincoln. A U.K. native, Payne is a graduate of London's Central School of Speech and Drama, from which he earned his BA in Acting in 2005. At the school, he appeared in such plays as Class Enemy, The Balcony, The Rivals, Three Sisters, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard III, and The Man Who Had All the Luck. Post-graduation, Payne made appearances on U.K. television in episodes of the hugely popular Skins, as well as Casualty. He had a regular role on the hit show Waterloo Road, and has costarred in the telefilms Miss Marie Lloyd, directed by James Hawes; and He Kills Coppers, directed by Adrian Shergold.