“Downton Abbey”, the well-loved ITV drama, recently drew its final curtain on Christmas day. Its successful reign spanned five years and six series!
The Telegraph reports that a special ceremony was held at the Richmond Theatre, wherein actress Julie Walters presented an honorary Bafta to the cast and crew.
Here’s what else happened at the event: cast members Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville are both good-humored sports. Why? The two actors who respectively play the roles of Dowager Countess and the Earl of Grantham did a skit, which poked fun at some of the show’s less popular scenarios.
The bit about Cousin Patrick, who was feared to have died on the Titanic but was later found, as a recovering soldier at Downton during the First World War was included, as was Violet’s outlandish Russian fanatic. Oh, and there was Matthew Crawley’s phenomenal recuperation after he was declared dead from the waist down. “He bounced out of his wheelchair like a jack-in-the-box,” Bonneville said.
“Downton Abbey” viewers know not to expect plain comments from cast members. When asked what made the show distinctive, “To be part of this company is extraordinary,” said Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Cora). “It’s been amazing,” affirmed Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith). Bonneville contributed the only wise note. “Quit while you’re ahead,” he said.
Actor Julian Fellowes wants to return to his theatrical roots—well, he didn’t say much but his onstage presence proved to be the most melodramatic, as he walked in a very intense manner. He disclosed how ITV was initially worried with regard to the show’s title. They (ITV) were apprehensive that “people would think it was about monks,” he said.
The production group previously looked at a total of some 40 houses before ultimately choosing Highclere Castle. It would be difficult to envision another place to epitomize Downton but it took meticulous studying to be able to find THE setting for the Crawley seat.
Other pieces of trivia: merely 40% was shot at the grand Berkshire home. Majority of the scenes were done at Ealing Studios, counting all the servants’ hall scenes, with the sturdy-looking masonry walls, which are in fact—surprise, surprise, made of plywood! Neither Lesley Nicol nor Sophie McShera can really cook. All the scenes that involved alcohol had used grape juice. “Sorry, but you don’t want to see Maggie on the Merlot at 8am,” said Jim Carter, who played the role of Mr. Carson.
“Downton Abbey” indeed made its indelible mark as a treasured gem to its fans.
Photo Source: Facebook/Downton Abbey