'Downton Abbey' creator Julian Fellowes and actor Kevin Doyle discuss how the show made the transition from TV to the silver screen
With 'Downton Abbey' set to premiere on September 20, we have creator of the show and screenplay writer of the film, Julian Fellowes and actor Kevin Doyle speak about what it meant to adapt the show into a film.
'Downton Abbey', a show that ran successfully for six seasons is a period drama set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey between 1912 and 1926. The show is centred on the lives of the aristocratic Crawley Family and how the lives of the family members and their domestic help were influenced by events such as the Spanish influenza, first World War or the sinking of Titanic. The show's popularity rose over the years for its stunning portrayal of post-Edwardian era supported hugely by performances of the show's lead characters including Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, Elizabeth McGovern as his wife Cora Crawley, Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley, Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith Crawley (Pelham), Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil Crawley and Maggie Smith as Violet among others.
The show ended its run in 2015 and the film that is set in 1927 sees the return of some of the characters from the show which includes actor Kevin Doyle who plays Mr Molesley, the valet of Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens). In an interview with MEA Worldwide (MEAWW) at the red carpet of the film's New York premiere, Doyle and the show's creator and screenplay writer of the film, Julian Fellowes shared how adapting the show to a film has accentuated the grandiose that 'Downton Abbey' has always been known for.
The movie portrays the onset of a new era where there are "no maids, no valets, no nannies even" and that is apparently a sign of "modern folk". The movie will see King George and Queen Mary descend upon Downton Abbey with the Royal staff in tow and this will definitely spice up things for the Crawley family and their servants. Doyle, who was asked how it was to be a part of the film version of the show, explained that the process was all the same. He did add, "But you can see that a lot of money has been thrown at it and there are some spectacular scenes. It just looks at home on the big screen. It seems as if that's where it should've always been. It just looks wonderful. It's all that money that they've thrown at it, it's paid off I think."
Fellowes, who was being praised the cast at the red carpet for writing and creating such wonderful characters also spoke about transitioning from a television show to a film. He said, "To be fair, I think 'Downton' was always quite cinematic in its conception and always quite glamorous and all those other things. Obviously you have to take advantage of it being a film and so in choosing the visit of the King and Queen we were giving ourselves various opportunities to show great set pieces. Military parades, and balls, and rest of the banquets and so on, which we could get the most out of. We didn't have to do anything to the house, it sort of grew for the film because it was being photographed really well, and the grandeur of those robes and their beauty which is great, it suddenly becomes even more obvious on the big screen than on the television. So I hope that people enjoy that."
Since there is a lot interesting buzz surrounding the film and the series, when asked if the film will have a sequel, Fellowes said, "I don't think we can say yet because we have to wait and see how the film goes." However, he did mention that one has to be alert, meaning there is a possibility of the Crawley family returning.
The film is set to premiere on September 20, Friday along with Sylvester Stallone's 'Rambo Last Blood'.