Top Quotes & Tidbits of Downton Abbey

(Downton Abbey Edition)


"I would be lying if I were not to admit that I write for Maggie."
~ Julian Fellowes

Maggie Smith has a unique sense of comedy, based on a somewhat ironic view of real life, making it both funnier and more sad. But perhaps her greatest ability, or at least the one that most intrigues me, is how she can convey deep and powerful emotion without a trace of sentimentality.”
~ Julian Fellowes

There's that overused tennis analogy, isn't there, about how working with the best makes you raise your game. It's entirely appropriate with Maggie: she has a devilishly witty first serve, a razor-sharp backhand but woe betide you if you're on the receiving end of her drop shot.”
~ Hugh Bonneville

“In the beginning, when we were on set, we were quiet around Maggie but when she started making us laugh off camera, (she is very funny), we allowed ourselves to be a bit naughty with her. In front of an actress of her calibre you do your best to be professional but the moment we realised we could be naughty and misbehave with her it was just delightful and I think we all really bonded with her."
~ Michelle Dockery

“One of the reasons I did this was to work with Maggie Smith. As a younger actress, only slightly younger than Maggie, the person I admired more than anyone else on stage and in film, was Maggie Smith and I saw her in everything she did at The National Theatre."
~ Penelope Wilton

“Maggie’s sense of humour is so dry and quick - she’ll just pass by you and out pops a quip that makes you cry with laughter – she is so much fun. If I’ve learnt one thing on this job it is to laugh and not take myself too seriously.”
~ Jessica Brown Findlay


“I am just surprised to be doing anything at my age actually. When you think of where I am now and where I’ve come from, I am very pleased and very grateful to be standing up and delivering Julian’s great lines.”
~ Maggie Smith

“He's the most humane of writers, I think. Lesser authors judge their characters, Julian doesn't. Sure there are some nasty pieces of work in the world of Downton, but they are all three dimensional – they aren’t goodies, or baddies; they are like all of us – flawed. So I think it’s the humanity of the writing that appeals. I don't mean it's soft or soppy,“he explains.” Julian's characters are recognisably human, with all their faults."
~ Hugh Bonneville

"He's taken more interest in my waistcoats and the number of costume fittings I've had, simply because he didn't like the cut of something I'm wearing... Basically I'm playing him," Bonneville concedes with a hearty laugh. "So he's a benevolent dictator character, a bit like Julian in real life."
~ Hugh Bonneville

“Like all the actors, I jumped at that chance to be in a programme written by Julian Fellowes. ...Perhaps it’s the time he put in as an actor, but he’s written so many characters, so economically, so emotionally and with so many dimensions. If you’re an actor who wants to play characters it doesn’t take too much brain power at all because the writing is just gold dust.”
~ Elizabeth McGovern


"There is something intriguing about a group of people living in such close proximity and yet with such different expectations.” ~ Julian Fellowes

"He's a man, like anyone born into this position, who has the responsibility of being a custodian of the estate he's inherited. It's his job to pass it on to the next generation – he's merely here for his three score and ten years and woe betide him if the Chesterfield goes missing on his watch." ~ Hugh Bonneville

It's the third time Elizabeth and I have played husband and wife. I love being married to her. And her husband doesn't seem to mind either. Anyway, it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable short-hand; we even know which side of the bed each other insists on sleeping, so that saves a lot of faffing about in rehearsals.”
~ Hugh Bonneville

"The house is a significant character in the story. What I love about Highclere is, while it's big, grand and imposing, it’s not so huge and cavernous that you get lost in its vastness. It's a family home, a working one at that, so it has a familial warmth... as well as frightening running costs, which of course is a recurring theme of the show!"
~ Hugh Bonneville

“It’s wonderful to see so many first-time and young actors getting a chance to perform in a show like this; Laura, Thomas, Rose, Sophie and Jessica. It is a rare thing in television to get a script and a broadcaster that can afford to give so many chances to so many new actors. I think it’s great because they are all’s really wonderful.”
~ Phyllis Logan

"What I loved about this was that [the producers] were prepared to take a chance on an original idea and not hedge themselves with the insurance of doing the 88th version of Pride and Prejudice..."
~ Julian Fellowes

Julian hints at possibility of sequel
“Downton is Gosford-y; it’s clearly home territory for me and I’m not pretending it isn’t, but TV gives you a longer time scale to develop these characters. It’s a slightly different period to Gosford, which I find interesting, and there’s no murder – yet.”

And last but definitely not least...

Hugh Bonneville makes my heart go pitter-patter. There I said it.
He's been wonderful to watch in whichever drama he's taken on
and it's lovely to see him featured in a great, leading role!

Maggie Smith - the incomparable, mega-talented Maggie Smith!
One of the finest actresses we've ever known!

Julian Fellowes - He won an Oscar for Gosford Park, and he gained my undying gratitude
for his dedication and passion in writing The Young Victoria. I'm looking forward
to the newly released From Time to Time and love hearing his views on film-making!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
More details about Downton...

John Lunn is responsible for the music score. This is the same man who composed the music for other period dramas such as Bleak House, Going Postal, The Turn of the Screw, Little Dorrit, The Shadow in the North, Under the Greenwood Tree, Lorna Doone, Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky, Cambridge Spies and Madame Bovary! Can't wait to hear it!

The inventive choice of the song for Downton Abbey's ad/trailer! Many of the people who have landed on this site have been wanting to know more about the song used, a cover of Sting's Every Breath You Take performed brilliantly by Scala & Kolacny Brothers.

Brian Percival is the lead director! He's also directed Gracie!, The Old Curiosity Shop, The Ruby in the Smoke and North & South, -- our beloved North & South!! That's all I need to know!

The period costumes! Loving the Edwardian style on the ladies! I know I'm not alone in wanting to know more about the costume designs and Una Maguire (Milk Publicity) has told me that there will be some mention of the costumes in the DVD extras!

The choice of beautiful Highclere Castle as the location for 'Downton Abbey'. The shooting schedule alternated between Highclere and Ealing Studios where they had to recreate the servants quarters, kitchen and bedrooms. (Julian chats about choosing Highclere)

Fiona, 8th Countess of Carnarvon, with her husband the Earl of Carnarvon, is the current owner of Highclere Castle. When asked in an interview for The Telegraph about how many rooms Highclere boasts, she replied, 'I’m not sure.’ ...
'I suppose if you know how many rooms you’ve got, you haven’t got a very big house.’

All 3 above are in my Hall of Fame so suffice it to say ---
I'm definitely intrigued for this series!

Julian Fellowes was asked about the upcoming remake of Upstairs, Downstairs:
"We weren't aware of it when we started because it hadn't been announced, and I think we were shooting when it was announced but of course I'm aware of it now. All it says to me is that television people are recognising there is a market for this kind of aspirational drama...and you know, good! So I'm sure it will be a great show, it's got a wonderful cast and I wish it nothing but good things. I just hope that it...continues to feed and nurture the taste!"

Are you expecting this to go to a second series?
"I feel like Mary [Lady Mary Crawley] , if I were to answer truthfully, you would think me very vain...We have to hope. I don't think you could say more than that. You never know how these things will land - I mean you just don't."And how often as actors you do something to pay the VAT [tax] and it becomes the thing that everyone adores and something else, you think, oh, there's a real award in this and nobody even bothers to watch past the interval."

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favourite websites, thank you very much for showing your commitment and dedication into this website. I love period dramas and I also really love Downton Abbey thanks for creating this website for those of us who feel like we were born in the wrong era such as myself, thanks again. Alexandra XX



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