The deeply loved series, Downton Abbey, is on the big screen after ending the namesake story on PBS, to sit in the memories of devoted fans. The film, in theaters this week, is a true fan fantasy, which definitely does not disappoint and will move all who enjoy.
This week, I had the chance to sit down and chat with stars, Elizabeth McGovern, Allen Leech and Hugh Bonneville after a private group screening of Downton Abbey. It’s always a pleasure to hear, first hand, from the stars who play our favorite characters. And this group interview was as amazing as the film itself.
What did the stars of Downton Abbey have to say?
When asked about what the hopes are, for the audience leaving the theater, McGovern replied, “Entertained. Reassured.”
Bonneville added, “It is to escape from the hassles of our current world. It’s pretty nice and it’s a nice place to go. And you sort of know you’re going to be looked after, because I think the characters in Downton Abbey look out for each other in some way, shape, or form. And I don’t think we need to apologize for that. It’s just pure escapism. And so it’s a nice place to be for a couple of hours. “
I couldn’t agree more. The fantastical world that The Abbey brings to us, as the audience, is pure escapism. And who among us, couldn’t use a hearty dose of that right now. If ever there was a place and time I could step back into for a day or two, it would be smack dab in the middle of a dinner party where my elegant seat was snug between Tom Branson and Violet Crawley.
Stepping Back Into The Downton Abbey Roles
“The funny thing is, the minute you start reading the script and then when you start getting into your costume, you realize actually that it’s almost muscle memory. That it’s just sitting below the surface, because you play these characters for so long. And even when you weren’t playing them, you were probably talking about them. And then suddenly you had a little break and you got to go back. So it was a really happy discovery for me that it didn’t take a huge amount to get back to being Tom Branson at all.” Allen Leech explained.
Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Cora Crawley shared, “It’s a luxury in some ways, because the fact that you don’t have to think about all those things that you think about when you’re just creating the character to begin with. How do they talk? How do they walk? How do they sit? And since it’s so deeply in our bones, you can just play it. You can just be it. And perhaps go to a deeper more confident place for that reason. So it’s a luxury because it doesn’t happen very often that you get a chance to revisit a character that has just settled in your bones for years without you even thinking about it.”
When I asked about who their favorite character was in the show, I was super happy that Mr. Bonneville holds dear the same one I do. He says, “I always tend to gravitate to Mr. Molesley. But that’s as much a testament to Kevin as an actor as to the character. Because the character was I think originally commissioned if you like for two or three episodes in season one. And then Kevin brought something so remarkable to the character, the sort of almost chaplain-esque hang door quality, which can be utterly heartbreaking and very fun at the same time. And as you’ve seen in the movie, it’s brought to the perfect peak in the movie. So I always love watching him work. Because you know you’re going to get a little bit of jewelry.”
Downton Abbey is in theaters now. This film is a beautiful extension of the television series that the fans loved for reasons we all know. The film, just as the series is filled with wit, humor, wonderful writing, impeccable style and a story line that makes you love The people in the Abbey as much as you love The Abbey itself. After all, she is the most important character, The Abbey, that is.