He was raised in Wimbledon and Oxford by his mother, who worked as a stage manager, and his father, who directed a pharmaceutical company. One of his first roles was on the British comedy TV series Suburban Shootout.
He earned a lot of praise for his performance as Captain Nicholls in the 2011 WWI drama War Horse.
His mother was an arts administrator and his father was a physical chemist. He was raised with an older sister and a younger sister. He has been in relationships with actresses Kat Dennings and Elizabeth Olsen and singer Taylor Swift. He has also been romantically linked to Zawe Ashton.