03/17/2013 04:49 pm ET

Dan Stevens Debuts New Look, Loses 'Downton Abbey' Hair

Dan Stevens is stepping way out of the shadow of his "Downton Abbey" character Matthew Crawley with an edgy new look.

The actor debuted his new dark hair, facial hair and skinny frame in March. Stevens left his golden locks and "Downton Abbey" behind after the Season 3 Christmas special.

“We were always optioned for three years,” Stevens said about his "Downton" exit. “And when that came up it was a very difficult decision. But it felt like a good time to take stock, to take a moment. From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things."

See a side-by-side comparison below.

dan stevens matthew crawley