Fug or Fab the Temporary (We Think) Makeover: Dan Stevens


Okay, y’all, let’s discuss Matthew Crawley.

Here he is as we all remember him: blonde hair, baby blues, slight smirk, Man Most Likely To Start Talking About Boring Modernization of Estate Management, Man Whose Career Decisions Doused The Burning Loins Of An Easily Embittered World.

And here he is now, thanks to another career decision to play a heroin dealer:

So yeah, the dye job and the facial hair and whatnot are character tools, but the shock value is still the same. He has the eyes, still, but a more devilish gleam. Lady Mary Crawley would take one look at him and ask who he tied to the train tracks last night. And then perhaps proffer Edith if he’d yet to pick someone.

Which do you like better?

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[Photos: WENN]

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Comments (70):

  1. Sara

    The dark hair makes his eyes even more amazing. But I’d be just fine with either version. :)

  2. MKKS

    … “and after Jonathan Rhys Meyers turn down the part, ingenious producers with an eye for look-alikes called Dan Stevens and had him dye his hair. Job done.”

  3. Amy

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. I generally like skinny, dirty-looking dudes, but that mustache is just plain skeevy. Get it out.

  4. Carol Hackler

    Johnathan Rhys Meyers! I’m gobsmacked!

  5. Stefanie

    I have not idea who this man is, but I would like to get the know dark haired version of him.

  6. Helen

    The brows should be darkened a tad as well IMO – without that, he still kinda looks like a blond trying to be a brunet – but I love what the dark hair does for his eyes. They sparkle.

  7. Cyd

    Would love to see the brunette version sans moustache. Slightly less melodrama, even more (I’m guessing) of the sexy.

    • Rachael

      Agreed, Cyd. The moustache doesn’t do it for me. But I think I’d like the dark-haired version without it.

  8. Alma

    I just realized…he looks like Nick Carter’s long lost cousin! In both pics!

  9. TLT

    He’s lost weight as well, which helps alleviate the slightly plump, school boy look. Have to admit, I’m liking the dark.

  10. Rayna

    I don’t care!

    Crackers…….bed………something about ………..crumbs……….not throwing out…………..

    Yeah, that.

  11. qwertygirl

    Part of my problem with Matthew is that he was really good looking on Downton, but still photos don’t seem to do him justice. To really make an informed decision, I’d have to see heroin-dealer Matthew in action.

  12. Lynne

    Jonathan Rhys Myers! I’ve been trying to figure out who dark haired Matthew reminds me of for two days now. Well, they obviously need to play brothers in something right after he wraps the heroin dealer movie.

  13. Lynne

    By the way, do you think it bothers Dan Stevens that we will never use his actual name again and will refer to him as Cousin Matthew basically until the end of time?

    • qwertygirl

      I’m quite sure that’s why he left the show. He could see the writing on the wall. He’s hoping we’ll forget about Cousin Matthew. I’m afraid it will never happen.

      • Karen

        Too late. The first line of his obituary – if not the headline – will include the words “Matthew Crawley.” Sorry, dude. You can run but you can’t hide.

        • Elizabeth in SF

          What he needs is a really good scandal that will wipe out the memory of Cousin Matthew.

          I’d be happy to oblige that requirement.

          You can order a trapeze online, right? I’ll have to see if the handyman can relocate the bedroom chandelier a few feet to the left for proper trapeze installation…’Cuse me, must go make a phone call.

      • Jessica


    • Katie

      He’s about as likely to avoid it as Colin Firth is likely to no longer be referred to as Mr Darcy.

  14. pidget

    Yowza! I always found Cousin Matthew sort of pudding-y and not really my sort. But slimline villain (aside from scruffy facial hair) now we’re talking! What a difference the jawline makes.

    • Leelee

      I’m with you 100% – he always put me a little bit in mind of a cherub, all blonde and soft looking. Frankly, Isis always pulled off the cuddly blonde look much more effectively.
      I’m not even putting the scruffy facial hair aside (I mean it’s not GREAT but I don’t want to kill myself over it), this is my favourite look of his.

    • Josephine

      This, exactly. He’s always been entirely too raw-custard in appearance and manner to leave me feeling anything but resoundingly lukewarm. I’ve appreciated his acting, but, sorry, he looked like a rich schoolkid with a flimsy sense of the physical realities of the world. Version 2.0 looks fully cooked and very pleasing, though I could live with different facial hair choices.

  15. Breda

    It’s long bothered me that his brassy highlights were so noticeable on Downton, especially given the setting, but this was not the right fix. I don’t mind the dark hair – it needs some more color nuance, but the IDEA works, especially with his eyes. But oh good God, the goatee needs to go.

  16. Bullseye

    Noooo! I am not that far into the series and you wrote “Lady Mary Crawley” Gah! Spolier!

    • Breda

      Her name has been Lady Mary Crawley since the day she was born.

      • Jessica

        That, and also: YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THESE COMMENTS RIGHT NOW. Because there are some huge ass spoilers you do not want to read and there is no way people aren’t going to mention them soon if they haven’t already. Save yourself.

      • Ann

        Bullseye, do not read this.


        Gone? Ok, Breda – question for you. Huh. I never caught that her last name was always Crawley. How does that work? Wouldn’t she have Lord Grantham’s last name? English rules are so interesting to me but I don’t know much about them.

        • Cyd

          The title is Earl of Grantham, but the family name is Crawley. For example, Lord Grantham is actually Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham.


          So Mary would have been Lady Mary Crawley nee Crawley, Countess of Grantham. Now she’ll just stick with Lady Mary Crawley SPOILER mother of the heir to the Earl of Grantham.

          • Petrova Fossil

            It makes me kind of sad that she’ll never get to be the Countess, or later, take Granny’s place (and wisecrackery role) as Dowager Countess!

            • rowynn

              That guy with the burned face who claimed to be Patrick might still come back, and turn out to be the real deal. I kept hoping all through this past season that they’d mention him or something – give some sort of hint that he might still be in the picture. After what happened in the last episode this season, I now am hoping even more for the return of Patrick, but we’ll see. Of course, he wouldn’t pair off with Mary, he was in love with Edith.

              • Ann

                Thank you all for the explanation! I read your comments in my normal internal reading-voice, but every time I read the word “Mary,” I read it as “Maaahrehy.”

        • Breda

          What Cyd said! Mary/Edith/Sybil & Matthew are cousins, so they all got the name from the same place. (Though actually, I don’t share a last name with any of my many cousins.) It gets especially confusing because Lord Grantham can be called just “Grantham” for short. His peers would probably have done so, especially as young men. But his name is Robert Crawley.

      • Bullseye

        Hmm…I didn’t catch that it was her last name as I am only three episodes in. I just knew that was HIS last name. And thank you Jessica, though I am so tempted to keep reading. Double Gah!

  17. Katie

    Awww, it’s like Jonathan Rys Meyers before he started….having issues. Which makes me sad and want to watch Bend It Like Beckham again. When he turns up at Jess’s doorstep? Phwoar.

  18. Bella

    I was never crazy about Matthew – too wimpy. But this evil version is very unattractive.

  19. llism

    Where is the “Both” option? :-)

  20. Esme

    ooh, me likey the heroin dealer option.

  21. Bronwyn

    All I can think when i look at Evil Heroin-Dealing Matthew Crawley is, hey look it it’s Draco Malfoy’s douch bag older brother!

    • Jenny

      Yes! A combination of Jonathan Rhys Meyers and brunette Draco Malfoy!!

  22. Evalyn

    Of coursed I like the evil heroin dealer version best. Duh. Story of my life.

  23. Rachel

    ew. skeezy.

  24. holly

    You need a third option to choose: NEITHER

    • Sarah M Stout

      Thank you! I thought I was the only one. Never saw what was so great about him and now he looks like the dude you would avoid in a bar.

  25. Trace

    I think his hair is naturally dark (though if it’s as dark as this I’m not sure) and he went blond for Downton.

    • Ale

      You can see him with his original hair in Sense & Sensibility (I agree, not as dark as in this picture).
      I do think he actually looks better blonde though.

      • Corriner


        Excuse me, I need to go rewatch that immediately…

  26. SaraK

    I must abstain from voting, as I am still too embittered to judge Cousin Matthew properly. But nevertheless, I do agree with Rayna about not minding any cracker crumbs one tiny bit.

  27. Barb

    There was a story in the Daily Mail on Monday all outraged about What Hollywood Has Done to Matthew Crawley. They tried to use pictures to show how awful it all was…but he looked smokin’ in both Old and New versions.

  28. coco

    How ever did evil heroin Matthew Crawley win this???? He looks like Jonathan Rhys Meyers and I don’t like that!!!!

  29. Ailatan

    Can we have Edward Ferrars? Cause I prefer his take on that character than Grant’s.

  30. laura

    I absolutely refuse to watch/rent/go see ANYTHING he has been in on ground of distain for making them KILL COUSIN MATTHEW! Poor Mary, first Sybil and now Matthew! I ache for her and I’m ONLY a dan stevens fan when he is running around Downton Abbey, being all modern and dreamy. He looks stupid.

  31. BrownEyedBetty

    weight loss + dark hair = heroin dealer.
    weight loss + blond hair = dreamy, less puddingy Matthew!

    Interested to see where his career goes from here. Bolting from Downton may prove to be a bit hasty, but we’ll see…..

  32. Cat

    The first thing that came to mind was Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and not in a good way. Change back!

  33. gryt

    He looks like an 80′s Polish gangster.

  34. Vandalfan

    “Why” I asked myself, “Why would I watch a show about nuns in the center of London?”
    Which is what I thought the show “Downtown Abbey” was all about. Ooops.

  35. Sarah

    I don’t love the stache, but holy hell, he can tie me to the train tracks any day of the week.

  36. Mary Urech Stallings

    Keep the dark hair, blond makes you look anemic. And I never really like him on Downton Abbey.

  37. CB

    Malfoy’s older, darker haired brother.