You played the bad guy in The Guest. Do you think people expected that?
No, I’m the nice guy from Downton Abbey! But that’s what we were playing on – we wanted to make an extremely charming villain. It was a nice departure for me and I enjoyed rising to the challenge. As well as the challenges of the character, there were physical challenges. I had to train a lot and I had to eat protein every two hours. I went vegetarian for a while after that.
You’ve worked with some amazing people recently. John Travolta, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Liam Neeson… What’s it been like?
Yes, I’m ticking them off! It’s been a thrilling couple of years in terms of getting properly into film, working with some incredible stars and stretching myself in the roles I’m taking on. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. Night at The Museum 3 is probably the biggest one yet in terms of it being a big studio... And it’s the first film I’ve done that my kids can watch too. My daughter came on set to see Daddy in a big suit of armour, fighting dragons… which was pretty cool!
Who has it harder? Mums or dads?
Mums have it way harder, and I’d never claim otherwise. The very act of giving birth is the most awesome thing I’ve ever witnessed.
Any exciting plans for Christmas?
Christmas in New York is pretty special but this year we’ll be back in the UK with friends and family.
Do you play polo?
Er, no! I am wearing a polo shirt, though, and that’s the first step.
Catch Dan in Night At The Museum 3, showing in cinemas in the UAE from December 18.