Interview by Gill Harvey for STV
Downton Abbey fans know Hugh Bonneville as patriarch of the Crawley family, Lord Grantham, who steers his family with firm hand backed by years of upper class traditions – but the actor has admitted he’d love to swap roles with one of the downstairs staff members in the period drama.
“I think there’s much more fun to be had downstairs,” Hugh told stv.tv’s Gill Harvey.
“Not only do you have your own interactions and skullduggeries with each other but you’re also privy to what’s going in upstairs, which isn’t true the other way round.
“I think I’d love to be someone like (footman) Molesley, who I think tries very hard to do his best and often gets his hands burned.”
Fans of the hugely popular period drama saw the return of it on Sunday September 21, in the fifth series which promises to be filled with scandal and sensational storylines, both shocking and heart-warming in equal measure.
Hugh’s role as Robert, Lord Grantham will come under threat as a new Labour government takes charge of the country, unsettling the middle and upper classes as their way of life is thrown into question.
And one new character who will certainly manage to rub Robert up the wrong way about this is Sarah Bunting, played by Daisy Lewis.
“There’s a character in the village who is opposed to Robert politically, but more importantly than that she’s just aright cow, she’s incredibly rude and she just rubs Robert up the wrong way. So that’s been a lot of fun to play,” the actor explained.
After this current series is finished, attention will turn to the ever eagerly anticipated Christmas episode. This year the cast and crew were at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, which previously acted as Hogwarts Castle in the Harry Potter movies, and heavily featured Downton actress Maggie Smith.
“Maggie Smith’s costume is still hanging in the hallway, so she just switched hats,” Hugh joked.
Speaking about the filming, he continued: “It was great. I think it’s the first time people have filmed inside the castle, obviously they filmed some of Hogwarts there in the exteriors. So to be able to film the state apartments was a great privilege, and my goodness me they have some fine works of art.
“We were very cautious about what we picked and touched up!”
See what else Hugh had to say about this year’s Downton Abbey as well as his own projects away from the drama, including appearing in the movie Paddington Bear, in the video interview above.