Downton Abbey is everything you could have expected and more, it doesn't disappoint ! You escape back into " Highclere Castle " where all your favorite characters come together once again. The story about a visit from the King and queen is the main story line. But their are other story lines too !
The movie's scenes are breathtaking both inside and out. The costumes are so elegant and beautiful. It will make you smile ,laugh and hope that everything turns out alright for all your favorite characters." I just didn't want the movie to end !" I love , love loved it !! And I think It is one of the best movies I have ever seen.
MODERATOR: We’re ready to begin. So we have Hugh Bonneville. [APPLAUSE]. Elizabeth McGovern. And Allen Leech [APPLAUSE] on behalf on Downton Abbey.
ALLEN LEECH: You’re sweet. You’re here for the day, aren’t you?
MALE SPEAKER: I’m kind of jealous of the... yeah.
FEMALE SPEAKER: [INDISCERNIBLE].
MALE SPEAKER: Yeah. Why not?
MODERATOR: We have the first question over here.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Good morning. Thank you for being with us. The movie was outstanding. I wanted to know what are three things that you would like audience members to walk away from this movie?
ALLEN LEECH: Happy. And we want them to walk away as well. We don’t want them to, you know, die in the theaters.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: And then come back again.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: Yeah, I think that’s a fair... I think that sums it up, really, isn’t it? It is to escape from the hassles of our current world. It’s pretty nice and it’s a nice place to go. And you sort of know you’re going to be looked after, because I think the characters in Downton Abbey look out for each other in some way, shape, or form. And I don’t think we need to apologize for that. It’s just pure escapism. And so it’s a nice place to be for a couple of hours.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Hello. I’m the Curvy Critic. How you doing? So this question is for Elizabeth. I spoke with you last night and I acknowledged the fact that I recognized you were nominated for best supporting actress in Ragtime. And you’ve been doing Downton Abbey for ten years, right? And now the big screen version. What is it about period pieces that makes you intrigued as an actress?
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN : Well, that’s a very interesting question, because I seem to end up in period pieces quite a bit. But the fact is, I really don’t care about that. I’m really drawn to great stories and great characters. And the fact that they happen to be in that period is irrelevant to me. I really hope that they spring out to a modern audience as if they are not in the period. And that what’s kind of remarkable is that people in that period are just like we are today. Things really don’t change all that much. That’s kind of the extraordinary thing if you read books that are set way in the past, right? Just happened to finish reading Don Quixote. And I couldn’t believe that the things that are written in that book are still so relevant today, because the fact is, people don’t change all that much. And when you do something that’s set in a period, it’s always a kind of funny thing about convincing people that it is actually the period. Because people talk about the way you move and the way you speak and the way you hold yourself. But nobody really knows. I mean, nobody was there if it happens to be something said in 1801. It’s just we have a kind of an agreed understanding of what we accept as the way people moved or spoke or sat or ate. And we want the audiences to believe that they’re in that period. So if we do that, then nobody questions it. But of course we might be completely wrong.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: Yeah. We actually had a historical advisor who was the sort of continuum of that or made sure that these standards were maintained. And there was sort of a house start, wasn’t there, that was established very early on, that the women wouldn’t cross their legs and the men wouldn’t put their hands in their pockets. It was simple as that. And [INDISCERNIBLE] you if you did. Now how do we know that the girls didn’t cross their legs or indeed the men didn’t cross their legs? But it was just decided that in our world, the fictional world of Downton Abbey, that wouldn’t happen. And I suppose that did lend it to certain if not grace, then a certain look to the thing.
CLARISSA CAMACHO: Hi. My name is Clarissa Camacho with Queen Bee Latina. And I wanted to ask you guys, how does it feel to revisit characters that were untouched for almost four years?
ALLEN LEECH: I think when we read the script, we all had a certain level of trepidation going in. As you say, can you go back and you revisit it and can you be as precise as you were originally? And the funny thing is, the minute you start reading the script and then when you start getting into your costume, you realize actually that it’s almost muscle memory. That it’s just sitting below the surface, because you play these characters for so long. And even when you weren’t playing them, you were probably talking about them. And then suddenly you had a little break and you got to go back. So it was a really happy discovery for me that it didn’t take a huge amount to get back to being Tom Branson at all.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: It’s a luxury in some ways, because the fact that you don’t have to think about all those things that you think about when you’re just creating the character to begin with. How do they talk? How do they walk? How do they sit? And since it’s so deeply in our bones, you can just play it. You can just be it. And perhaps go to a deeper more confident place for that reason. So it’s a luxury because it doesn’t happen very often that you get a chance to revisit a character that has just settled in your bones for years without you even thinking about it.
KAREN: Hi. My name is Karen. Thanks for joining us. The movie was fantastic. I wanted to find out, what was the atmosphere like when y’all reignited on the set?
HUGH BONNEVILLE: I think really the moment that sticks in my mind is when we joined together for the read through. Now obviously we had six of these events in the past. But there had been a gap of three years. And it was a small miracle that Gareth Neymar, executive producer, had managed to get all of us around the table again. Plus our new characters as well. But obviously the main challenge was to get the core of the cast back together. But I do remember looking around the table at this big square, this big old square table that was erected around the studio. And basically having sort of a wry grin on my face. Sort of I can’t believe that we’re here again. And also I can’t believe in a good way that we’re here again, that we’ve actually made this happen, we all linked arms and decided to jump in together. Because I think if we hadn’t done that, then it wouldn’t have happened. If four or five or six characters had said actually I’m done with it, which everyone had the right to do, so I think it’s a great testament to the audience really as much as anything. Because it was the audience who drove the enthusiasm and the constant questioning. Is there going to be a movie. And I think if they hadn’t been asking that, then we wouldn’t have done it. It’s as simple as that really. And again, a testament that we were a good band of friends over the six years and that we didn’t end up punching each other and we’re happy to spend another ten weeks together.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: Something just occurred to me this minute actually that I haven’t thought of before, of course, because that question has come up quite a bit. But I feel like we all quietly grew in confidence a little bit in the best way. Like when somebody is quietly more confident, they’re just more fun and more relaxed. I feel like across the board, you could apply that to every member of the cast. Maybe because of the experience of the show or the opportunities that it had brought people. And I think that pervaded the atmosphere when we were making the movie. There was a kind of quiet, peaceful confidence that wasn’t brash or arrogant. It was just kind of there.
MODERATOR: If each of you had the opportunity to play a different Downton Abbey character for an episode, who would you want to play?
ALLEN LEECH: I would start by saying I don’t think I could play it half as well. I think everyone is incredibly well cast in the show. But I would love just to be Thomas Barrow for a day. An early Thomas Barrow. Like evil, smoking, have the conniving Thomas Barrow.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: I think I would like to play Lady Mary. Because then you can shag a Turkish diplomat, have incredible sex, and then you don’t have to see them for breakfast.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: I cannot follow that answer.
MALE SPEAKER: Al Siran Hifo with Entertainment Voice. Just wanted to ask, when it comes to playing characters from a completely different era, although not that far removed from our own, right, it’s almost like 100 years, but how has that changed you as actors or how has that even affected your personal lives? Have personal habits changed after embodying these people from another world for so many years?
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: It’s made me appreciate the freedoms that we enjoy as women and the power that we enjoy as women, which I might have taken for granted otherwise. I am so happy at the end of the day to come back to 2019 and know that I can vote, I can control my own money, I can control my own destiny. And we’ve come a long way, baby.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: I think something that has grown out of the show and I hope I’ve taken into my own life is a greater sense of tolerance, actually. I think that this show, all the characters are really based in a world in which tolerance and compassion, they’re not expensive. And it’s found quite frequently. And I think we’re so quick to judge these days and so quick in the pace of life to make rash decisions. I think that just the general pace is obviously inevitably so much slower in the world where the telephone is about the fast means of communication or the way of getting in touch with people. And I think just the common courtesies that everybody in the estate is used to expressing. I think they aren’t bad things to hold onto now.
ALLEN LEECH: I would say the manners and the way people took care of themselves and kind of I suppose the way that people treated each other. It’s a very similar issue. Actually, Hugh’s answer. Yeah. [LAUGHTER].
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: Ditto.
MELISSA: Hi. My name is Melissa. I’m with Dandelion Women. And I actually wanted to thank you guys. A couple of years ago, I went through a tough time. My father passed and my mom and I binge watch for a couple of months. So you guys really helped us through a tough time.
ALLEN LEECH: Oh, thank you.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: We hear stories like that sometimes. And I can’t tell you genuinely how much it means to us. Because sometimes in the world of show business, you get just so sick of the bullshit. Sorry. But then when you’re reminded that you’re actually doing something that has helped somebody.
MELISSA: Oh yeah. It helps a lot.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: It does really genuinely mean a lot.
MELISSA: Well, thank you guys.
ALLEN LEECH: Thank you for telling us.
MELISSA: I wanted to ask you guys if you had a favorite line or scene from this movie? The writing is so good. There were a couple like really amazing lines. But did you guys personally have one for your character?
HUGH BONNEVILLE: For my own character, that’s really interesting, because I think we all immediately go for one of Maggie’s lines.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: Yeah. We all want Maggie’s lines. Let’s not mince words. I like the way... we were talking about this the other day. I really like the way the arc was written after the death of Sybil I think it was series three. I think it was... Not for my character. And Robert’s character. It was beautiful writing in the sense that it really delineated the process of grieving and the impact that a trauma like that can have. And I just think that Julian did an especially good job for our characters in that episode.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: Did you ask for the movie though?
MELISSA: Just in the movie.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: Well, I think as a series, a line I’ve always loved where Tom Branson I think embodies Tom as he says I don’t believe in types, I believe in people.
ANGELA: Hi, back here. Angela with Front Row Features. Great job. And thank you for being with us on opening day in the USA. So I was wondering since you’ve premiered in London last week and you’re here this week, what are the differences that you’ve noticed between fans in the UK and fans in the US of Downton Abbey?
ALLEN LEECH: Rob James-Collier I think...
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: I loved it.
ALLEN LEECH: Summed it up brilliantly when he said in the US, fans will, just people in general will cross roads and risk being knocked down to tell you they love your show. [LAUGHTER]. And in the UK, people will cross roads and risk being run down just to tell you they don’t watch it. Which is very true. Yeah. So the enthusiasm and the excitement that we experience from American audiences is so refreshing.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: You’re much more comfortable with your emotions.
ALLEN LEECH: It’s so exciting. And then obviously in Britain, the movies comes out and you get this face. It’s just like, oh, I was very excited to see that. One of the best cinematic experiences I’ve ever had. [LAUGHTER]. Whereas in America, they’re like [MAKES A NOISE]. [LAUGHTER]. That happened in New York when I opened the door of Starbucks. And someone walked out.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: Translation: Starbucks. Go on.
ALLEN LEECH: What did I say?
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: Starbooks. [LAUGHTER].
ALLEN LEECH: I had to put up with this for ten years. Starbucks. Okay. So I held the door anyway. And the woman said oh, thank you, what a gentleman. Oh holy fuck, it’s Tom Branson. [LAUGHTER].
SELENA HUGHES: Hi. I’m Selena Hughes. And I just wanted to know since everything is wrapping up, what will you take with you? What’s going to be in your Downton Abbey heart?
ALLEN LEECH: I had a very poignant moment with Hugh actually. We snuck in at the New York premier. And we stood at the back of the theater for the last 20 minutes of the movie. And for me, I’ll take this incredible journey that we had over ten years. And the amazing family I have.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: I agree.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: Me, too.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: Stop. It will clear up. It will clear up in a minute.
MODERATOR: I’m curious. What’s something for each of you about your character that just really means something of quality about your character?
HUGH BONNEVILLE: I would go back to something I said earlier really. It’s to do with compassion and tolerance. Just when you think a typical father if you like, patriarchal character, would explode at something that his daughter has done, some misdemeanor or bringing the shame upon the family name. You think he’s going to cast her out into the snow or something. And actually, he basically in a couple of cases says well, we all make mistakes. So long as you’ve learned from it. And I think that taught me something as a father apart from anything else, a father of a teenager. That actually we’ve all made our own mistakes. So long as you as a parent are there as a safety net. Allen, I’m talking to you now because you’re about to be a father. I think so long as you are there as unconditional safety net, then that’s something that I actually learned some of that through the character of Robert and the relationship with Cora. That they do have their ups and downs, but they’re there for the long haul.
JESSICA: Hi. I’m Jessica. And I love the movie. Fan of the series. I binge watched it during jury duty in Los Angeles for three weeks.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: What, in court?
HUGH BONNEVILLE: You were supposed to be listening to the two, the defendant and the prosecutors.
JESSICA: You would be amazed at how much time you actually have when you’re serving on a jury. I would love to know who your favorite Downton Abbey character is and why. Whether it’s yours or another character.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: I always tend to gravitate to Mr. Molesley. But that’s as much a testament to Kevin as an actor as to the character. Because the character was I think originally commissioned if you like for two or three episodes in season one. And then Kevin brought something so remarkable to the character, the sort of almost chaplain-esque hang door quality, which can be utterly heartbreaking and very fun at the same time. And as you’ve seen in the movie, it’s brought to the perfect peak in the movie. So I always love watching him work. Because you know you’re going to get a little bit of jewelry.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: I’m with Allen. I like early Thomas Barrow. I think that it was a very complex character that acted in ways that weren’t always the best way to act, but you could see that it was coming from a place of pain and frustration and I always thought that was really interesting.
ALLEN LEECH: I’ll go with an unsung hero oftentimes in Downton who is Isobel Crawley. Because Maggie Smith is as good as Maggie Smith is, but she can only be as good as who she is fighting against. And I think Dane Penelope Wilton as she is now is a very worthy adversary for her. And I think she does a wonderful job. I really only think the people really enjoy Maggie because they enjoy Penelope as well.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Hi. I’m a huge fan of the show and the movie was amazing. But I wanted to ask about the royals since they were such a big part of the movie. Have you guys had a chance to meet the royals? Are they fans? Have you had any interaction like that to where they’ve seen the movie or you had any feedback?
HUGH BONNEVILLE: I don’t know if they’ve seen the movie. But we had a dry run of the film plot, because the duchess of Cambridge came to visit the set.
ALLEN LEECH: Kate Middleton.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: Kate Middleton. Yes. [LAUGHTER].
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: To you.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: Sorry. So she came to the set in our final season [SOUNDS LIKE] at Ealing. And that was a great day. And yes. She was due to stay for an hour or so. And her detectives were checking their watch because she was there for about three hours because she was having such a good time looking around the wardrobe bus and learning how everything worked. But we also had a couple of visits from the Countess of Wessex. Sophie Wessex came a couple of times incognito. There was one occasion when we were filming outside Oxford I think it was at a house that Winston Churchill for sort of war plans during the war. And we knew that a dignitary was coming to visit sort of by coincidence. Was it a Brazilian or an Argentinean? Argentinean ambassadors and her entourage were coming to be escorted by the Duchess of Wessex. Unfortunately, my good lady screen wife didn’t really take all this on board and thought she had met the blonde haired lady in the supermarket recently.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: No. I thought she was an extra wardrobe person that had come on. Didn’t recognize her.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: Okay. So that was Sofie Wessex. Yeah. Just so you know for next time. Member of the royal family.
MALE SPEAKER: No wonder she found us so [OVERLAPPING].
FEMALE SPEAKER: [OVERLAPPING].
MALE SPEAKER: No wonder she found us so weird when you said, can you sew this part of my dress please?
FEMALE SPEAKER: You guys are hilarious. So over here again. All right. So the dinner scene with Molesley and the ballroom scene. You guys had to have had some moments where you cracked up and they had to like redo the take. You had to. Especially the scene with Molesley.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: Well, normally those dining room scenes, we can’t wait to get out, because they take a long time, those dining room scenes, for sort of obvious reasons. And that’s the one time that we actually just wanted to stay in the room and see them there, because take after take, he was just sublime.
ALLEN LEECH: It was a lovely moment where Maggie saw him do it for the first time. And she just turned. And there was a bit of applause. And she just turned and went, well, that’s delicious. [LAUGHTER]. And I think it’s a lovely way of describing that moment. Because he’s such a comic genius. And the ballroom was fun. Because obviously I sat on the sidelines and watched these guys do their job. And every so often myself and Imelda Staunton, we would go in and we would give our judging scores. And Dancing With The Stars. We would go in and everyone would line up and then we would walk up and down. And then we go, you guys were the best this time. Well done. And so everyone got to win at different stages. Except for the king and queen. Now that wasn’t Gerald and James’ fault.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: They sucked.
ALLEN LEECH: They sucked. [LAUGHTER]. For royalty, they really couldn’t dance.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: And over the years, Elizabeth and I have had quite a few dances in the TV show. And Diana Scrivener who is our choreographer has always been very patient, because we often may start at the bottom of the class, but she gives us incentives. And it will go little badges each way. And we finally ended up with gold. We were very excited. We got a gold star.
ALLEN LEECH: And you deserved it.
MODERATOR: Last question.
FEMALE SPEAKER: I’ll just ask you. Do you feel like this is really the end? Because I feel like there could be a whole another series spun with the younger generation. And with her saying that my father just recently passed 15 days ago. And when she said she was sick, I lost it. And I thought you were going to step into the role and you were going to be her.
ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: Oh. Me being Maggie.
HUGH BONNEVILLE: Oh.
FEMALE SPEAKER: I see it. I see it. Not that you... I hope they give you zingers. But do you feel like this is really the end?
HUGH BONNEVILLE: I think realistically, it’s certainly the end for us in terms of the TV show. Of course there could be, because let’s not forget that the central character is the house. And the house is still standing and will be standing in another 100 years. So absolutely. And knowing a little bit of the history of Lord and Lady Carnavron’s family, the current earl who lives there, his grandfather was quite a character. And if those walls could talk in the 1960s, that was one heck of a party house. So some fascinating shenanigans would have gone on over the years. So of course, I think they absolutely could do spinoffs in that way. In terms of our section of the history, I think if you can just persuade all your friends to go and see the movie, then maybe we’ll do another one.
ALLEN LEECH: Yeah. Absolutely. If the appetite is there. [APPLAUSE].
HUGH BONNEVILLE: Thank you.
ALLEN LEECH: Thank you very much.
MODERATOR: And we’re going to do a quick photo real quick with everyone.
ALLEN LEECH: Yep. Cool.
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