When Tom Hatton gave up his job in the City to follow his acting dream he had no idea what lay in store.

Now, with his good looks and acting ability wowing audiences across the US, the 28-year-old is already being touted as the next big thing.

Tom, who grew up in Hove and later Haywards Heath, used the money earned from his job as a headhunter in London to train under the guidance of Oscar-winning star Kevin Spacey at the Old Vic theatre.

And two years ago he took the plunge and headed to the US in search of his big break.

He was accepted to the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York, and is now starring in coast-to-coast network shows, has won rave reviews for his theatre work and has even become the face of a billboard advertising campaign.

Tom, whose family still live in Haywards Heath, said: “It has just been an amazing adventure.

The acting has taken off so well. I was working in the city but I dreamed of being an actor so I enrolled on the course.

“Learning from Kevin Spacey was just fantastic, and it has all ballooned from there.

“I'm still a bit of a novelty over here being English. I'm living in Brooklyn which is really edgy and exciting, and I don't regret it for a minute.”

Tom has won fans for his performances on shows for AMC and Fuse networks and most recently on Law and Order Special Victims Unit.

He is also widely respected in theatre circles for the ensemble theatre company he formed with fellow student Oren Hod.

The New Group replicates the ethics and values of the famous group theatre of the 1930s.

Tom is also set to become the face of Dentyne on its US poster campaign in the autumn.

He said: ”The theatre company has gone so well, it has had an amazing response which is good because the group is so dedicated to what we are trying to do.

“The advertising campaign is funny because I had to visit an orthodontist as a teenager. The advertising side of it is all new as well but it is part of building up my profile.

“My dream now is to break into the big screen and get into Hollywood films. I've got an audition for the next Ang Lee film – that is how high we are aiming and the sky is the limit.”