Downton Abbey will start to air their final season on PBS today, but the series has already ended in the UK. With the series over, many of the cast members of this popular series have started to look back and reflect on their time on Downton Abbey.
In an interview with Vulture, several cast members spoke about the series. Hugh Bonneville spoke about his first scene with Maggie Smith, and he knew she would be a big part of the series from day one. He said:
“My first memory is the first time I worked with Maggie [Smith]. We did a scene in which she’s decrying the advent of electricity in the house. I think in the stage direction it said, “She shields her eyes from the light and says, ‘Oh, it’s like being on stage at the Gaiety Theater.’” But she didn’t just shield it with her hand, she pulled out a fan and then held it there for the entire scene, which was just hilarious. I thought, I see, I see. That’s what it’s going to be like. She’s going to steal every single scene.”
Laura Carmichael also spoke about her first day on set, and she worked with Bonneville for an emotional scene that day. She said:
“I do. I was so nervous. It was the first on-camera stuff I had ever done. I didn’t really know what anyone was talking about and was trying to act like I did. It was a two-hander with Hugh [Bonneville], when we have a moment about Patrick dying in the Titanic. So it was an emotional scene. But Hugh is just so great, and made such an effort to put me at ease. I remember being incredibly grateful to him for being so lovely.”
Downton Abbey was never meant to be a huge success in the United States. Bonneville thought the show was so “British” that it would never crossover and become popular with American audiences.
Joanne Froggatt spoke about why the series became such a hit in the United States with Vulture. She said:
“It’s a question that none of us really know the answer to. Obviously, Julian has created this world and this cross-section of characters. And I think there is somebody that everyone can connect with because there are so many different types of characters. And there are love stories, and people that are causing trouble for people. There’s trauma and there’s drama. It is a true ensemble, and you start to care about everyone, and you start to care about this community. It’s a show that lots of generations can watch together. Maybe it was just the right show at the right time. Maybe it’s just as simple as that. Who knows what that little bit of magic is that makes something go down as well as it has?”
Do you plan to watch the end of Downton Abbey on PBS? Are you sad to see this series end? Tell us what you think.