Downton Abbey began its sixth and final season on American screens recently, and PBS NewsHour treated us to a special about the show.
Actors Hugh Bonneville, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan and Kevin Doyle all sat down to dish the dirt on their characters, summing them up in one word and detailing how they’d changed and grown over the course of the series.
Allen decided “honesty” was the word that summed up his character, fan favourite Tom Branson, and said that he’d grown from being a “strong socialist with very strong and hard views against the aristocracy” into a person who was able to “break down those barriers and see them as people, rather than just a stereotype."
Mr. Molesley actor Kevin Doyle described him as “fragile”, while saying he had grown from being “comic relief… into a more rounded, recognisable human being."
Phyllis, who plays “sincere” Mrs. Hughes, says her character has grown in that she has “attracted the eye of Mr. Carson” and has “developed a romantic life throughout the seasons." Phyllis also stated that Mrs. Hughes is very fair and has “a warm heart but is her own woman."
While Allen, Kevin and Phyllis all seemed to take the interview relatively seriously, Hugh Bonneville was his usual hilarious self, saying “daddy” Robert Crawley had “grown by about three inches around the waist." He went on to comment that Robert had “grown incrementally at the pace of a glacier… to become a more tolerant and more compassionate human being."
The first episode of season six premiered on PBS on Sunday night, which saw Lady Mary blackmailed by a disgruntled chambermaid, Anna cleared of suspicion over the death of Mr. Green and Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes discuss their relationship. Downton Abbey has already finished in the UK and aired its final ever episode, a two-hour special, on Christmas Day.