Dublin actor Allen Leech has confirmed that he will feature in the upcoming Downton Abbey Christmas special, while insisting that the series' creator, Julian Fellowes, has "gone all out" with this year's festive show.

Speaking to RTÉ TEN, the 32-year-old Killiney-man, who plays Tom Branson in the period drama, said: "Tom is definitely in the Downton Christmas special. It's going to be really exciting. There are some major, big, big, big set pieces."

Leech continued: "Julian Fellowes has gone all out with what he's written. There's a major centrepiece for one of the characters and a big event. Paul Giamatti also joins us which will be fun."

He added: "There is also the start of a couple of love interests for people."

Speaking about the direction he would like to take his character in, Leech said: "I would like to see his political side come back. I think that kind of took a backseat because of all the terrible things that happened to him in his life.

"Now that he's kind of settled himself, I'd like to see that political element come back. I'd also like him to see more of Ireland."

Leech can currently be seen in the psychological thriller In Fear, which centres on a young couple who get more than they bargain for while travelling to a music festival.

When asked what attracted him to the script, Leech said: "It's a crazy story. What really attracted me to the film was the process in which the director [Jeremy Lovering] wanted to go about to make the film. He wanted the two leads to know very little and wanted me to play mind games with them."

He added: "As an actor it's a real challenge because a lot of it was improvised. It was very exciting to have the opportunity to manipulate people's perceptions and trust."

In Fear is in cinemas now. Read the RTÉ TEN review at: www.rte.ie/ten/reviews/movies/2013/1114/485931-in-fear/.

Leech was a guest on Friday's Late Late Show. Watch it at: www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/10223286.