Lord Grantham is looking a little different these days.
Hugh Bonneville, best known for his role in Downton Abbey, confused viewers who tuned into his interview on BBC's The One Show because they weren't convinced it was really him. Social media began spinning with people who thought the actor, 56, looked "unrecognisable" between weight loss and cropped locks.
John Bayley (C) husband of the late Dame Iris Murdoch, with stars of the film, (L-R) Hugh Bonneville, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent and Dame Judi Dench during a press reception at the Washington Hotel in central London, ahead of the premiere of 'Iris' at the Curzon Mayfair. * The film follows the story of Booker Prize-winning novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch who died in 1999, played by Kate Winslet and Judi Dench. (Photo by Yui Mok - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 7: Hugh Bonneville stars in the CBS comedy series "Courting Alex." (Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images)
Berlinale: Vl. Hugh Bonneville, Natasha Richardson Und Marton Csokas Beim Photocall Zum Film "Asylum" Im Berlinale Palast In Berlin (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
LONDON - SEPTEMBER 28: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) (L-R) Actors Hugh Bonneville, Stephen Tomkinson, Adrian Lukis and Neil Pearson arrive at the UK Premiere and Press night of "Cloaca" at The Old Vic Theatre on September 28, 2004 in London. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 21: Hugh Bonneville, Gyles Brandreth and Joanne Froggatt during Q&A following Screening of ITV'S Downton Abbey at BFI Southbank on September 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images for BFI)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 14: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Coyle, Allen Leech, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jim Carter, Laura Carmichael, Michelle Dockery, Lesley Nicol, Kevin Doyle and Allen Leech of Downton Abbey attend an Evening With Downton Abbey - Raising Money For Merlin - The Medical Relief Charity at The Savoy Hotel on July 14, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
(L-R) Actress Elizabeth McGovern, writer-producer Julian Fellowes and actor Hugh Bonneville pose in the press room at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotell. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 21: (L-R) Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Michelle Dockery, Shirley MacLaine, Elizabeth McGovern and Brendan Coyle attend the "Downton Abbey" photo call at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 21, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON - MARCH 14: Actor Hugh Bonneville and LuLu Williams arrive for a State Dinner in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House on March 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Cameron is on a three day official visit to Washington. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: (L-R) Actors Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle and Hugh Bonneville arrives at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Actor Hugh Bonneville attends the HBO Luxury Lounge in honor of the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on September 23, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: (L to R) Actors Jim Carter, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Rob James-Collier, Joanne Froggatt and Hugh Bonneville pose for photos at the "Today Show" taping at the NBC Rockefeller Center Studios on December 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 07: Actors Hugh Bonneville and Joanne Froggatt share a laugh onstage during the Q&A session as part of The Hollywood Reporter screening of PBS Masterpiece's "Downton Abbey" Season 3 on December 7, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for THR)
Hugh Bonneville with wife Lulu Evans arriving for the 2013 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Actor Hugh Bonneville attends the 65th Emmy Awards Writers Nominee reception held at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre on September 19, 2013 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Hugh Bonneville arrives at HBO's Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Post Award Reception at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 10: Actors Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville and Laura Carmichael attend "Downton Abbey" Season Four cast photo call at Millenium Hotel on December 10, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
British actor Hugh Bonneville poses with a Paddington bear as he arrives for the screening of 'Paddington' at the British embassy during the 64th annual Berlin Film Festival, in Berlin, Germany, 07 February 2014. The movie premieres in German cinemas on 04 December 2014. Photo: PAUL ZINKEN/dpa | usage worldwide (Photo by Paul Zinken/picture alliance via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 05: Hugh Bonneville, Bill Murray and the cast of "The Monuments Men" answer questions from fans during a SiriusXM "Town Hall" special with host Jess Cagle, People Magazine Editor, Editorial Director of Entertainment Weekly and host of the show Editor's Hour on SiriusXM's Entertainment Weekly Radio channel at SiriusXM Studio on February 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 08: (L-R) Actors Hugh Bonneville, George Clooney and John Goodman attend 'The Monuments Men' premiere during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at Berlinale Palast on February 8, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Anita Bugge/WireImage)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 12: Hugh Bonneville Actor Hugh Bonneville attends a photocall to unveil his new Wax Figure at Madame Tussauds on August 12, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: Hugh Bonneville at the launch of The Paddington Trail on November 3, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
(Left - right) Matt Damon, Paloma Faith, Graham Norton, Bill Murray and Hugh Bonneville during filming of the Graham Norton Show, at the London Studios, in central London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Andy Cohen and Hugh Bonneville -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 20: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Hugh Bonneville (accompanied by his wife Lulu Williams) attends day 5 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2015 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
GALAVANT- "A New Season... aka Suck It Cancellation Bear" - Bad advice results in Galavant and the crew being shipwrecked, and they end up traveling by foot in order to get back to Richard's kingdom. Later, Galavant and King Richard find themselves at The Enchanted Forest Pub in West Hollow-wood where they are forced into working there by the owner who sees Galavant in a different light. Meanwhile in Valencia, Madalena rules as Queen, and Gareth demands his due when he is announced as King, with Sid as his assistant. Elsewhere in Hortensia, Isabella is imprisoned in her jewel box by her 12-year-old cousin as her parents prepare for their wedding. "Galavant" will premiere on SUNDAY, JANUARY 3 (8:00-9:01 p.m. EST) with two 30-minute episodes, back-to-back, on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. The ten-episode series will run each Sunday night for five-consecutive weeks. (Photo by Liam Daniel/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
MARTIN COLLINS, HUGH BONNEVILLE, ADAM LOXLEY, DANIEL HOFFMAN-GILL
Hugh Bonneville with Graham Norton in the press room who received the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards 2017, held at The O2 Arena, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: 25th January, 2017. See PA Story SHOWBIZ NTAs. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: (L-R) Jeremy Vine, Angela Scanlon, Paddy McGuinness, Hugh Bonneville and Gurinder Chadha. Comedian Paddy McGuinness raises money for Comic Relief by appearing on multiple TV shows in one day at The One Show, BBC New Broadcasting House on March 10, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: Hugh Bonneville (L) and Hugh Grant attend the 'Paddington 2' photocall at Shangri-La Hotel on November 3, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Actors Hugh Bonneville, Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy and Tom Hollander attend the European Premiere of "Breathe" on the opening night gala of the 61st BFI London Film Festival on October 4, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BFI)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 19: Actor Hugh Bonneville attends "Paddington 2" Paris Premiere at L'Olympia on November 19, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Lulu Williams and Hugh Bonneville attend day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 9, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage )
Hugh Bonneville eating a marmalade sandwich alongside a Paddington Bear statue as he attends the Scenes In The Square statue trail unveiling in Leicester Square, London. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Hugh Bonneville and wife Lulu Williams attend the "Downton Abbey" World Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on September 09, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech, Jim Carter, Imelda Staunton and Kevin Doyle on Monday, September 16, 2019 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Hugh Bonneville attends the "Downton Abbey" New York Premiere at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on September 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
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Bonneville, whose face and body appear more slender, chatted with hosts Alex Jones and Gethin Jones, leading to social media comments from viewers commenting that he "lost a hell of a lot of weight". It was to the point that many said they didn't recognise him at first amid his "transformation". Others thought he looked like Jude Law and Bear Grylls.
On air, they read one viewer's comment which was, "Can't we just discuss how amazing Hugh looks?" That led Bonneville to laugh and blush.
Bonneville has been up and down the scale throughout his career. In a 2015 interview, he recalled losing 20 pounds prior to auditioning for the 1999 film Notting Hill. However, the character was supposed to be heavy. He said he told director Roger Michell, who wanted him to gain weight back for the part, "I'm sorry, but I'm not going back." He won the role anyway, but some scenes were rewritten to delete references to chubby cheeks. In that same interview, he said he was once "told I was too fat to play Hamlet". which he called "disappointing".
Though he did gain back weight later. In a 2009 interview, he talked about returning home from making 2008's Bonekickers and his wife remarking that he was "as fat as a pig". While he wasn't ever vying for shirtless sex symbol roles, he said, it led to him to hire a personal trainer, who forced him to exercise and change his diet. As a result, he lost 16 pounds, and he got moving, even participating in the Trailwalker race, a 52 mile walking competition.
Bonneville played down his commitment to exercise in another interview from 2017. Asked about his achievements outside of acting — in recent years roles included the Downton Abbey movie and Paddington 2 —he quipped, "I don't think I've achieved anything much. Although I recently completed the 100km South Downs walk, which wasn't bad for a fat man in his 50s."
The actor has apparently been focusing on fitness during the coronavirus pandemic, which has many around the globe living the quarantine life. He said in another interview "lockdown has given me a sense of what matters" and it's "family rather than just trying to be a hamster in a wheel." While he's "been extremely fortunate that over the last 10 years I have been able to select projects more and more carefully."
That coupled with the loss of his father earlier this year has changed his life and priorities significantly. "It does make you reflect more about what is actually important," he added.
Bonneville's latest project finds him playing British children's author Roald Dahl in the biopic film An Unquiet Life.