Well hello there, Tom Ellis! Best known to U.K. audiences from the BBC's Miranda and Merlin, Welsh-born actor Ellis is preparing to make a Stateside splash as the lead star on USA's new medical drama, Rush, premiering July 17. Ahead of the series premiere, get to know the hunky 35-year-old who'll heat up TV screens this summer as "medical fixer" Dr. William P. Rush.
1. Despite his model-like good looks, Ellis isn't really into the heartthrob status that followed him throughout his TV career in the U.K. "It's a compliment, [but I] laugh about it," Ellis—whose face was once licked by a female fan and has been followed by a legion of Miranda admirers like The Beatles—told Metro U.K. in 2012. "If you don't laugh about it, you're in danger of turning into a d--k."
2. No spoilers here! Rush may be a brand-new series, but Ellis has vowed to remain tight-lipped about his role. "There's something really charming about a character that is fundamentally flawed and does some pretty despicable things, but yet you still kind of love him," Ellis hints of Dr. Rush, a renegade doc hooked on pills and forced to work out of his Mercedes after losing his privileges at a local ER. "You always want your audience to leave wanting more. It's kind of a weird answer, but I want people to know as little as possible about Rush."
3. He's a ladies' man—literally. Growing up with three sisters, including a twin, Ellis has two daughters, Marnie, 4, and Florence, 1, with his ex-wife, Tamzin Outhwaite, and another, Nora, 8, from a previous relationship. "My daughters are so unimpressed when they see me on television," Ellis told U.K.'s What's on TV in 2010. "I want them to say, 'Oh, Dad!' But I say, 'Who's that?' and they say 'Dad' with no real interest."
4. Ellis is a total romantic at heart. Introduced to ex Outhwaite by his BFF James McAvoy, the actor proposed to the mother of his children six months after they met—with a fireworks display and dinner on her birthday. Their wedding included McAvoy as best man and was attended by Oasis rocker Liam Gallagher.
5. Friends since their drama school days, Ellis calls McAvoy his "rock," but admits he often tried to measure up to the X-Men franchise star early in his career. "When I first left drama school, I'd measure myself against James. My career was on an upward curvature but it wasn't as steep as his," Ellis told the U.K. Daily Mail. "One night, over a bottle of whiskey, I admitted to an element of jealousy. He said, 'Don't be so stupid.' I've come to realize that we're all unique and there's no point trying to keep up to speed with someone else."