Downton Abbey: A New Period stars discuss sequel’s laugh-out-loud script, and their hopes for a 3rd film

Downton Abbey: A New Period is a film that’s basically divided into two elements. In it, a number of members of the Crawley household go to the French Riviera to attempt to uncover why matriarch Violet (Maggie Smith) has been left an unlimited villa by a just lately deceased marquis, whereas the remainder stay on the titular property and attempt to hold out of the best way of the manufacturing crew that’s employed out Downton because the set of its silent movie.  

Between places, it manages to juggle a loopy quantity of characters, with virtually all of its forged reprising their roles from the present and its big-screen predecessor, and newbies Hugh Dancy, Dominic West and Laura Haddock becoming a member of in on the enjoyable – and boy, is it enjoyable. 

Providing up a complete bunch of laugh-out-loud moments, author Julian Fellowes – who created the unique collection – proves he’s simply as adept at splitting sides as he’s splitting plot traces. And in accordance with its stars, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Raquel Cassidy, and Dancy, all of whom Whole Movie just lately sat down with, that was evident from their very first read-throughs of Downton Abbey: A New Period’s “very humorous” script.

Throughout our chat, the foursome additionally talked concerning the delights and challenges of filming a movie inside a movie, Woman Mary’s “pretty” relationship with Dancy’s new character Jack Barber, Downton WhatsApp teams, and the way envious the actors who needed to keep within the UK have been of those that obtained to solar themselves a the Villa Rocabella for 10 days…

TF: As actors, what was your favorite half about filming a movie inside a movie? I believed Kevin, you can begin us off, as a result of your character Molesley was essentially the most excited concerning the film being made at Downton.

Kevin Doyle: It was studying about the way it was completed. I hadn’t realised how precarious the enterprise was and the way rapidly it modified from the world of creating silent films to the want to vary them into talkies. That was a part of it I hadn’t realised – how determined issues have been. There’s a sequence within the script, actually, the place your characters, Michelle and Hugh, go to the cinema, and it was a silent movie, proper? There’s an unlimited, lengthy queue to see the talkie. I hadn’t realised that side of movie historical past, in order that was fascinating. Watching them doing the movie inside a movie was simply such a pleasure to observe, too, really. Watching Dom and Laura “doing the performing” was simply so gloriously excessive.

Have been there any specific challenges with the movie stuff? I keep in mind Simon Curtis, the director, saying that he would generally combine up faux crew members with actual ones, and issues like that.

Michelle Dockery: Ha! That’s good. Generally when Hugh yelled reduce, I’d get confused as to who was saying it, the true director or Hugh. In order that was fairly humorous at instances, and never figuring out what tools was the trendy tools and what have been props. A few of it really regarded fairly comparable, didn’t it?

Raquel Cassidy: A few of it’s moved on massively, hasn’t it? It’s shrunk, whereas another issues haven’t moved on in any respect.

Doyle: I like that the sound was recorded on a report participant. That was fantastic.

Downton Abbey: A New Era

(Picture credit score: Focus Options)

Downton has at all times had its lighter moments, however I used to be actually struck by how humorous the movie was. I laughed out loud lots. Did that stand out to you guys whenever you learn the script? And I used to be questioning, Michelle, have been you significantly tickled by the truth that Mary’s voice and posh accent turned part of the plot, with out giving an excessive amount of away, as you should have had so many individuals through the years say, “Oh, you don’t sound something like Woman Mary.”

Dockery: Undoubtedly. That a part of the story was actually shocking and actually humorous. I imply, I believe you’re proper, after I learn the script for the primary time, I believed, “That is the funniest I’ve ever seen Downton get.” I imply, you realize, there are moments in it which might be humorous, in fact, all through the present. However that is very humorous, and I personally love all these things with Carson and him being so reluctant to vary, and the way a lot he hates the home being invaded by actors and crew. 

It’s simply actually amusing seeing the characters being compelled into one thing that they’re possibly not snug with, however Mary type of embraces it. I believe she fairly enjoys it. She at all times does that factor the place she’s like, “Oh, god, how do I get myself this stuff?” and rolls her eyes, after which she really actually enjoys it. I like that facet of her, when she type of pretends she’s so over it however she loves it! It’s one thing very totally different for her. Jack and her have this connection very early on and so they grow to be, like, these good enterprise companions. She virtually turns into like a producer on the movie and it’s a stunning relationship, and one thing fairly new for Mary, so I like that.

I’ve heard through the years that issues can usually get fairly giggly on set. Did you wrestle to maintain a straight face with all of the jokes that have been in there this time round?

Dockery: I imply, it’s at all times arduous to maintain a straight face with Maggie [Smith] as a result of she’s so humorous. She’s as witty as Woman Violet. So, yeah, there have been positively some moments. Kevin at all times actually makes me giggle. It’s usually the most important problem of Downton, attempting to not giggle.

Cassidy: It’s so playful too, isn’t it? You’re at all times searching for that… factor. So for those who’re on the sting of guffawing, it’s most likely since you’re actually doing it, you realize?

Hugh, you’re the beginner in A New Period. What was it like becoming a member of the household?

Hugh Dancy: It was very straightforward to be the beginner. They have been very beneficiant and so they actually welcomed me in.

Most of your scenes are with Michelle as Mary, however for those who may have labored with one other of the unique forged members, who would have been your primary decide?

Dancy: Fortunate sufficient, I had a scene or two with Maggie, so I ticked that field, so to talk. I labored with Hugh [Bonneville] a very long time in the past, a few instances, and I’d have cherished to have had a pair extra scenes with him for previous time’s sake.

Penelope Wilton and Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey: A New Era

(Picture credit score: Focus Options)

Raquel, whereas these guys have been making a movie at Downton, you have been capturing the extra mysterious facet of the plot within the French Riviera, what was that like?

Cassidy: It was completely beautiful, actually stunning, but in addition a stunning technique to finish the shoot as a result of we needed to be locked down on this attractive lodge, which had a view of the ocean. We had our personal pool and, you realize, forged and crew all collectively for 10 days simply hanging out collectively? It was actually attractive. Yeah.

TF: Have been the remainder of you jealous that half of the workforce obtained to exit to France, whilst you needed to keep within the UK?

Dockery: I used to be very envious of these stunning views and the photographs they’d ship us whereas they have been there regarded attractive.

TF: Oh, guys… you have been dropping images on the Downton WhatsApp?!

Cassidy: It’s obtained to be completed, hasn’t it?

Dockery: Oh, I needed to see. I needed to type of really feel like I used to be there, so I advised them to ship me photos. We must always have gone for a vacation, really, and simply joined everybody.

Cassidy: I believe if it hadn’t been for the truth that we have been locked down as forged and crew. I believe there was an opportunity that, for that final weekend, they’d have gotten us all collectively and that will have completely been the icing on the cake. We’ll have to attend for the following film. 

Dockery: Within the Bahamas.

So, the household and a few of the workers go to France to attempt to study extra about Violet’s historical past, and why she’s been left this lavish villa. It’s fascinating that this movie is named A New Period, and but may be very a lot concerning the previous. There are many mentions of Mary’s late husband Matthew and Sybil, and different moments from the collection. What was it wish to revisit all that by way of the script?

Dockery: I believe [writer] Julian [Fellowes] at all times likes to remind the viewers you realize, of these characters that have been so integral to the story. I believe it’s very true to life, isn’t it? The previous generally informs the current, and I believe it’s one thing that he does in each story really. It’s such as you always remember them. 

Dancy: It actually speaks to household, doesn’t it? You progress ahead. You possibly can transfer into a brand new period, or a brand new a part of your life, however the previous is at all times with you.

Whereas a few of the gang go off to France, Mary is left accountable for the property, what does her time flying solo educate her about herself? I like the parallels right here between what’s taking place to Mary within the current, and what was taking place to Violet within the time interval that the others try to piece collectively. Did you really feel daunted being the one member of the Crawley clan at Highclere Fortress?

Dockery: Yeah, I did. It was actually totally different this time round for me as a result of you realize, usually, I do a variety of scenes with Laura Carmichael and Hugh and Elizabeth [McGovern]. However I figured that that’s how it could really feel for Mary. So it was type of proper that, you realize, she has form of left to cope with all of this – once more, one thing that she rolls her eyes at, however really I believe she fairly fairly enjoys it. Everybody leaves after which she will be able to simply management all the things and do what she likes. 

I believe she’s actually embracing her obligations and she or he’s a really totally different girl from the individual that we met in the beginning, in collection one, and she or he’s having fun with that position.

I don’t need to give an excessive amount of away however there’s a second in the direction of the tip of the movie the place the Downton workers get to expertise how the opposite half reside. How enjoyable was that to shoot?

Doyle: It was actually nice. It’s the primary time in 12 years that I’ve managed to take a seat at that desk. Usually I’m type of stood behind it, so it was pretty.

Cassidy: It was humorous as a result of the characters are lifeless enthusiastic about it however, I believe, we as actors have been lifeless excited, too. There have been positively some elements the place there was no performing required. It was actually scrumptious and it was in the direction of the tip of our shoot collectively. Hugh despatched an exquisite image of us as we’re ready to come back on. It was simply actually thrilling. The sense of play in that scene is absolutely reflective of how we have been all feeling.

Downton Abbey: A New Era

(Picture credit score: Focus Options)

Now, Kevin, Molesley is commonly the go-to comedian reduction however he’s no bumbling idiot. He turned a schoolmaster within the collection, and he seems to be fairly the gifted screenwriter on this. Should you have been to make a 3rd movie, what surprisingly helpful ability would you need it to disclose he has?

Dockery: Champion determine skater! 

Dancy: Heavyweight boxer.

Doyle: I’m form of batting for the following mission to be Downton on Ice. I’d wish to see that. There could possibly be a stunning dream sequence. You, Michelle, and the ghost of Matthew? Reunited on ice? 

Dockery: It’d be stunning!

Doyle: Or a comic book scene within the kitchen with Mrs. Patmore attempting to prepare dinner an egg on ice.

Dockery: You heard it right here first.

There’s a stunning scene in one of many France sequences the place Phyllis lastly opens up about her emotions for Molesley. What do you suppose it’s about him that she loves a lot?

Cassidy: Oh, my goodness. I imply, effectively, from the start he was her knight in shining armour. He’s a very noble human being. I believe she, you realize, she loves his thoughts. He’s clever, and he cares about issues and has enthusiasm for all times and the world. I believe she’s seen by him as effectively. It’s fairly straightforward to not see Phyllis Baxter as a result of she may be very a lot a workforce participant and she or he desires to assist different individuals do what they do, significantly Woman Cora, however he sees her. To be seen and to see somebody as stunning and noble as he’s? That’s form of what desires are product of.

Very similar to the primary movie, A New Period wraps issues up neatly however open sufficient that extra story could possibly be advised. Would you be eager to do a 3rd one if the chance arises?

Cassidy: Sure.

Dockery: Yeah.

Doyle: Yeah.

Dancy: Positive! 

One final query. Given the plot of the film, I needed to ask what a few of your favorite movies about making movies are? So there are issues like Singin’ within the Rain, Ed Wooden, The Catastrophe Artist…

Dancy: Residing in Oblivion. Everyone’s in it. It’s form of an indie film about making an indie film particularly, in order that they’ve obtained no cash, it’s a catastrophe from begin to end. It’s hysterical.

Doyle: The Participant? That’s a superb one.

Dockery: There’s one which’s popping out now that I actually need to watch. It’s about individuals capturing one thing throughout COVID. It’s on Netflix, and it’s meant to be actually humorous?

TF: The Bubble?

Dockery: That’s it. The Bubble. I’m actually to see that!

Downton Abbey: A New Period is in UK cinemas now, and can be launched within the US on Could 20. If you wish to see what different titles are as a consequence of come out in 2022, then take a look at our checklist of upcoming films, and get planning these future cinema journeys.

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