Miranda’s Tom Ellis on mixing his religious upbringing with playing the Devil in Lucifer

He's the latest Brit to hit the big time in America – but does he miss the UK?


You’re from Cardiff, but where’s home now – Britain, LA or somewhere else?


Both of those, and Vancouver, where I film Lucifer for several months of the year.

What’s Vancouver like?

Well, I’m looking out of the window now. And in the summer, it’s one of the most beautiful cities you’ll ever see, surrounded by mountains and ocean. But from October it starts raining and doesn’t stop until March. And as someone who’s lived in Manchester and Glasgow, I can categorically tell you this is the rainiest place in the world.

So you don’t miss our weather. Do you miss anything else?

Being in the Commonwealth, you get a lot of British sensibilities out here. And they have Heinz beans, so the caterers at work make me beans on toast for breakfast.

Sounds like a home from home, but you must miss British TV?

Yeah, I’ve missed a lot of shows that I need to catch up on when I get back. I really want to watch Doctor Foster because Suranne Jones is a dear friend of mine and I’m so pleased she’s getting recognition for how good she is.

Which US shows do you watch?

I’ve just done all four seasons of The Americans with Matthew Rhys – it’s brilliant.

He’s British, of course: we seem to be taking over Hollywood.

It’s definitely a sweet spot at the moment. It’s great. You can’t move for British people in LA. It’s nice to be grounded with some British humour – that’s one thing that gets lost in translation over here.

Playing Lucifer – it’s a pretty big role, isn’t it?

Lucifer is the biggest character I’ve ever had to play, both in terms of him being larger than life and in terms of him being the Devil. Everyone has ideas about what or who the Devil is.

Are you from a religious family?

I am indeed. My dad is a Baptist minister, and so are my uncle and my sister.

So you didn’t have to do too much research…

That might be the assumption, but there was never a fire and brimstone approach in my house growing up. It was all about peace, love and happiness; we didn’t talk about the Devil.

Are you still religious?

I stepped away from the church as I went into my adult life. I’m happy I grew up with that moral cornerstone ingrained in me, but I’m at peace with where I am spiritually these days.

Segueing seamlessly from the Devil to Donald Trump… what’s it like being on that side of the Pond in the run-up to the US election?

It’s a bit crazy over here at the moment. From the outside looking in, it seems like a very obvious choice, doesn’t it? But then, having spent a lot of time in the States, it’s a very different place from the UK. So while it feels simple from the outside, and I pray that America doesn’t vote for Trump, I do have this fear. Especially after what happened with Brexit. It may happen, which is really quite terrifying.


Season 2 of Lucifer is available on Amazon Prime Video now