Return to Downton Abbey: A Grand Event (2019) Movie Script

I'm here in the heart of
the English countryside,
visiting one of the
most recognizable places
in the world, Highclere Castle,
better known to millions
of television viewers as
Downton Abbey.
Highclere has come to life
once again with the release
of the "Downton Abbey" movie.
And I don't know about you,
but I can't wait to experience
this wonderful world
on the big screen.
This was a very unusual
job, and those of us
who've been around a bit longer
told the youngsters and said,
"Don't think this is normal".
This is the biggest thing we've done,
because this is one of the
biggest things that has been.
Certainly by the end, all of us realized
that we were in
something that was unique
and special and probably wouldn't
happen again in our careers.
It's been such a... an
amazing journey for us
to be part of the show,
and to be part of something that has had
this success around the world.
I feel really lucky with the film.
I feel like it's, it's just so exciting.
Do you have enough clichs
to get you through the visit?
- If not, I'll come to you.
- Oh, here we go.
I'm gonna take you behind the
scenes at Highclere Castle,
where we'll see exactly
what it takes to keep
a massive estate like this ticking over.
No maid?
No valet? No nanny, even.
It's 1927. We're modern folk.
We're going to explore
Highclere's links to royalty
with Geordie Herbert
and his wife, Fiona.
Your grandmother is the queen, correct?
- They're n...
- Am I... is that wrong?
I don't think I can claim
that close a relationship
- with the royal family.
- Oh, not that close, okay.
But they can claim a
super close relationship
with the United States,
as we'll be finding out later on.
I'm thrilled because I'm getting to chat
with some of the cast
of my favorite show,
up close and personal,
as we look back at 10 years
of "Downton Abbey".
And we'll be treating you to
a sneak peek of the movie.
The king and queen
are coming to Downton.
It's all to come as we
"Return to Downton".
"Downton Abbey". Well, what can I say?
Following the lives,
loves, highs and lows
of the aristocratic Crawley family
and their staff below stairs,
has been part of our
lives for nearly a decade.
I absolutely love it.
This fall, "Downton" comes
to life on the big screen,
and when I was asked, I literally jumped
at the opportunity to see
where it all happens for myself.
And for an occasion this big,
Derek's debut into
aristocratic high society,
I need to arrive in style.
- Hi.
- Hi. Great to see you.
Welcome to Highclere.
- Thank you so much. Hello. How are you?
- Very nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you, too.
- Say hello, Alfie.
Here's Alfie. He's very
happy to meet you.
Oh, man, well, thank you so much.
- Come on in.
- This is incredible. Wow.
More from the Lord and Lady later.
And more from the cast of
the series and the movie,
who call this fabulous
place a home from home.
And what a cast it is.
Led above stairs by Hugh
Bonneville as the debonair
and charming Lord Grantham.
What I liked about him
was the sense of a man
who was conservative
with a small "C", liberal.
I liked him. I liked, uh,
I liked his company.
No maid, no valet, no nanny, even.
It's 1927. We're modern folk.
We never thought Irishman
Allen Leech would become
such an integral part
of the British aristocracy.
Now we can't imagine
"Downton" without him.
I went for a role for a guy
called John Branson at the time.
He was... And he's supposed to
be from the north of England;
he was never Irish, until
I walked into the room.
I was really interested in the character
because he seemed to be
challenging the conventions
of the fact, that, you know,
once you went into one line
of service, that's
exactly where you stayed.
You never had a chance
to elevate your position.
The downstairs team is
led by the super efficient
Mr. Carson, played by Jim Carter,
who comes riding back
into town like a sheriff.
It's very like Clint Eastwood
walking into town, you know,
to sort of sort everything out.
I come in in a big duster
coat, mean and moody,
with a hat pulled down low over
my eyes, and I take charge.
Um, you couldn't have
"Downton" without Carson.
Carson is going to move
back into the house
for the royal visit.
In the kitchen is the
high-strung Mrs. Patmore,
who rules the roost. And
fans love nothing more
than to see her freaking
out when confronted with
- modern technology.
- It's a mixer!
I don't blame her. She didn't know.
I mean, she thinks that's it now.
If they bring machines in,
we're all out of a job.
And Michael Fox who plays Andy,
one of the newest additions to the cast,
he's the first person to
learn Downton's big news
- in the movie.
- Blimey.
When I read the script,
I opened the first page,
and saw that I have the line
that starts it, I was like,
"This is very cool".
- What have you got there?
- Wouldn't you like to know?
Over the next hour, myself
and some of the cast members
are going to indulge ourselves
with the cream of high society.
And where better to do
that than right here,
in the majestic Highclere Castle.
I still feel a buzz whenever
we come round the,
there's a particular bit in the driveway
as you come up here,
uh, where you glimpse the-the-the tower.
Then it disappears from view.
It's like it's taunting
you, teasing you onwards.
And then suddenly you turn a corner,
and there it is. And it's extraordinary,
and it's dramatic.
I guess that's the idea of
it. It's designed that you
come round... There it is.
And you thought, "Ah,
this is, this is my office.
"This is, this is not a bad place
to come to work".
Every morning you walk
down the driveway,
and it's just, like, you have
to pinch yourself a bit.
You're working there.
'Cause it's stunning.
Obviously, when we finished the show,
we all had our moments
of kind of saying goodbye
to that magnificent view
and what a place to work.
And it hit me again when we
went back to do the movie.
We turned that corner, and I
had exactly the same feeling of,
of just, just absolute awe
of this incredible building.
Highclere Castle,
situated on 5,000 acres of
beautiful English countryside.
And who better to show us
around this wonderful estate
than the owners of Highclere Castle,
the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.
Lord and Lady Carnarvon, also
known as the Earl and Countess,
Geordie Herbert and his wife Fiona,
have lived here together as
husband and wife since 2001.
But Lord Carnarvon's
ancestors have been here
since the late 1600s. Wow.
Just incredible. Just
the, just the detail
and the, the grandness of it all.
I don't think we could
make a room like this today
for all our mechanical ingenuity.
I think... I'm not sure
we have the craftsmen;
it's such a beautiful room.
What must it be like to live here?
Well, I guess there's
only one way to find out.
What is it like to live
somewhere like this?
I can tell you, we never get bored,
of, of the views, the buildings,
the landscape we have around us.
We never take it for granted.
There's something interesting
in every part of the year,
in every season; the trees,
the landscape changes,
the light changes.
Highclere is an extraordinary place
that always has an interest.
And who can argue with that?
I just can't wait to
see more of this place.
And of course, to get
some more sneak peeks
at the upcoming "Downton Abbey" movie.
But before that...
Coming up, we're gonna revisit a time
when there was no "Downton Abbey"...
I know, it's hard to imagine...
as the stars of the show
reveal how it all came to be.
Welcome back to Highclere Castle,
the home of "Downton Abbey".
Just look at this place.
It's simply awesome.
A spectacular home in
a spectacular setting.
Why would anybody want to leave
this fantastic countryside?
Isn't it time to chuck in the towel?
Lots of people have.
You mean... leave Downton?
The Downton Abbey story begins in 1912.
But as we find out in the movie,
the man who really has the problem
of continuing the estate,
still hasn't figured it out by 1927.
Despite all that, he's
still enjoying life
on his country estate.
In Downton Abbey, the lucky
man at the center of it all
is the refined and
sophisticated Lord Grantham,
played by the equally
refined and sophisticated
Hugh Bonneville.
It's been such an
essential part of his life,
and he still remembers
how it all came about.
I can remember
the very moment I first heard
about "Downton Abbey".
I was doing a film called
"From Time to Time",
which was, uh, an adaptation
by Julian Fellowes,
and he was also directing.
And I said, "What are you...
What else have you got
on the, on the go at the moment?"
And he said, "Well, I've
got four or five things
"on the go at the moment.
"Uh, one's about the "Titanic",
one's about a country house estate".
And I said, "Oh, what's
that? Is it "Gosford Park"?"
He said, "Well..." and
then he told me the story
of how the show had evolved.
And I have to say it
never really changed.
I mean, that-that vision
he had in his head
of what the show was,
and what the world of the country house
that he was calling
Downton Abbey would need
to be like, really was
there, set from the outset.
And what a vision that was.
Six series, 52 episodes,
including five specials,
and now the movie.
No wonder everybody's so excited.
Are you excited?
I am a bit. Are you?
Would it be common to admit it?
Not to an American.
I spent six years of my
life, plus the, the time
that we did the movie, which
was only a short time, but...
lot of memories here,
and friendships forged.
It does feel like a
sort of home from home.
With its iconic architecture
and landscaped gardens,
Highclere Castle is one of the U.K.'s
premier tourist attractions.
On average, 1,400 people a
day visit this magical corner
of the English countryside.
You have 1,400 people visit
this extraordinary building.
Well, we have... we have
quite a lot of visitors
in the summer, in the summer holidays,
and in the Easter holiday.
Outside that period, we tend to
go down to special guided tours
around themes, around talks,
or different ways of
presenting the castle
in different ways for
different types of people.
Sometimes we're also asked to entertain
amazing visitors from abroad, which...
It's the house doing
what it's always done.
He was one of Britain's
most familiar faces.
He's been in movies like
"Paddington" and "Notting Hill".
But for all of us, he's Robert Crawley,
the Earl of Grantham, and
the fans just love him.
There are a number of
people who said to me,
"You must have been so relieved
when "Downton Abbey" came along".
I said, "Well, I've been working
for 25 years quite happily,
you know, so I've been
fine, thank you very much".
- Remember to pray for us.
- I'll put in a word.
But I think even Maggie
said that she was
quite happy bumbling along in life
until "Downton Abbey" came along.
And then, you know, people
did start tapping her
on the shoulder in the car
park, at the supermarket.
And that's certainly true for all of us,
and the opportunities
it's afforded all of us
have been extraordinary.
When we knew that the
show was coming to an end,
we all felt that it was the right time.
And it was only after maybe
a year of being apart,
suddenly the talk of
possibly doing a movie, uh,
was-was kind of thrown around.
And we were all suddenly going,
"Actually, I wouldn't mind going back.
I wouldn't mind going
back and seeing everyone".
So "Downton" is coming
to the big screen,
and people like Carson the butler
are coming back into our lives.
Well, I think that the film,
I think it was the pressure
of public expectation.
I mean, I know there
was a disappointment
when the series finished,
'cause the real fans felt
it could have carried on forever.
Every time we met anybody,
every time we met any member
of the media or the public,
"Is there gonna be a film?
When's the film coming out?
Is there gonna be a film?"
And I think that pressure
just grew and grew, so I think
we sort of bowed to the inevitable.
Downton Abbey's the heart
of this community,
and you're keeping it beating.
So you think we should battle on?
While there's blood in your veins.
The "Downton Abbey" movie is the climax
to everything we've come to love
about Lord Grantham and his family,
the Crawleys, and their
home, Downton Abbey.
We all hope that that translates
onto the big screen; I think it will.
I think the scale of the film,
the sense of it being, now,
that big, as opposed to that big,
or even that big,
I think it'll be a
pleasure for audiences
because it has been
shot with that in mind,
this big screen in mind.
Everything, from the
costumes to the sets,
it's all on a slightly grander note.
It's just more of, I think, what
people love about "Downton".
It definitely is a...
continuation of the story,
but there is a sense that
it's just bigger and bolder,
and there's obviously this
massive event that's occurring.
So it definitely is elevated,
and that's something we
all wanted with the movie.
We wanted to make sure it wasn't just
a simple continuation.
It couldn't just be, like,
a one-off Christmas special.
It had to be... had to
be bigger than that.
People will feel quite moved by it,
because it's like revisiting...
It's a reunion with old friends.
If you're a fan of the show,
I think you'll be delighted
to see the return of-of
so many familiar faces.
And I can imagine
there'll be a lot of, "Aw",
whenever, um, a familiar
or favorite character comes on.
And, uh, the odd boo, and the odd, uh...
maybe the old lump in
the throat as well.
The appetite is-is there
amongst the, uh, the fans.
I just hope we don't disappoint.
Your Majesties, welcome
to Downton Abbey.
"Downton Abbey" gives us a
taste of how the elite lived
in the early 20th century.
After the break, we'll bring
things right up to date.
Don't go anywhere.
I'm at Highclere Castle, where
"Downton Abbey" the series,
and now the movie were shot,
and we're here to celebrate
its big-screen debut.
No maid, no valet, no nanny, even.
It's 1927. We're modern folk.
Downton Abbey is full of stars,
and Highclere is, in many ways,
the real star of the show.
Highclere was a character, you know,
the main character in "Downton Abbey".
It played Downton Abbey very well.
It has a very specific look to it.
It's kind of like compact,
but epic and beautiful.
And you've got the little
areas you can sneak off to,
like the folly, where you can
have a little private chat
in this grand folly.
What was it like when
Highclere was chosen
to be the location
for "Downton Abbey"?
The actual production team for "Downton"
did look all around the country
at many other historic places.
And, of course, it was
a great honor for them
to finally come back
and make the decision
to film "Downton" here.
The design of Highclere and
its shape, both externally
and internally, allowed the cast
to be on a great stage.
The castle was just another character
- that lent strength to the whole story.
- What?
Highclere really is something.
It certainly is a long way away
from where I grew up in Utah.
Okay, before all my
Utah friends and cousins
start taking to Twitter to complain,
I love Utah.
But I sure could get used
to a house like this.
I've asked Lady Fiona to
give me the 50-cent tour.
Do you know how many
rooms there are here?
- How many?
- Well, you have to guess.
Um, oh, okay. Let's
see, one, two, three...
I'm gonna guess 40?
- No.
- 30.
Between 250 and 300.
Wow. So I was way off. Okay.
I mean, we only ever
really worked on two floors
of that place, and I genuinely
don't know what's...
I know that there's another
two floors of bedrooms,
but I've only ever peeked in
and seen one of the corridors.
The place is vast.
All sorts of people have visited here,
from kings to commoners, even murderers.
Only kidding. That's
just in "Downton Abbey".
Derek, I think you might
recognize this room.
Oh, absolutely. Wow. Look at this place.
It was in the very first, um,
series of "Downton Abbey".
- Years ago now, I suppose.
- Yeah.
But actually, it was
decorated for royalty,
for the Prince of Wales.
It was the reign of Queen Victoria,
and he was her eldest son
to become Edward VII.
So it was a tremendous
honor having him stay.
- Well, let me show you something else.
- Okay.
- I'm gonna stay on the royal theme.
- All right.
Man, this place is like a maze.
I'm glad I have Lady Fiona here
to show me the way, or I
might never find my way out.
How clever of you to find me.
Well, not really.
I lived here 40 years.
Everywhere you walk or sit
is connected with the past.
It's about a hundred years old.
This bed is a hundred years old?
The mattress is. The bed's older.
I mean, let's just have a little...
So I probably... need to replace it.
I feel like I'm ruining
history right now
by sitting on it.
Reminders of the Carnarvons' past
are everywhere.
Did Lady Fiona say 300 rooms?
Just to put that all in context,
that's 168 more than the White House.
So, this is pretty cool.
My man here, Capability
Brown, was the gardener
and landscape designer
to all that you see here.
5,000 acres of just stunning beauty.
Capability Brown... you're the man.
The gardens, well, they put
Buckingham Palace in the shade.
The castle is sitting on 5,000
acres of rolling countryside.
Imagine a yard that size.
Or mowing the lawn.
Everywhere you look,
there's another surprise.
So, I guess there's some
kind of secret garden
around here somewhere, but, uh...
Well, it's not much of a secret, is it?
To keep, you know, this
house, this-this estate going,
must be just... I mean,
it must be a lot of work.
It is a lot of work, because
we have endless things
to fix and repair.
And I'm sure you've
looked and seen all these
wonderful old buildings
in the landscape here,
which the British call "follies".
'Cause they were a folly.
They have no use, but nowadays,
they're an incredible cost to keep up,
as well as this glorious
building we're in now.
We're tenants here.
We're stewards for our lifetime.
You can do your best, and
then, at the end of the day,
that's all you... God can ask you to do.
They've been in an
extraordinary position
for this estate to
have been in the family
for so many generations.
And this has survived. This has survived
by adapting to change.
And one of the changes that
they've taken under their wing
is to acknowledge that
you can make money
out of having TV shows.
"Downton Abbey" first
appeared on our screen
September 26, 2010.
Who could have predicted
what would happen next?
Well, none of us knew. We
didn't have a crystal ball
to see how popular it would become.
Actually, to start with, we wondered
if anybody would watch it.
And then, by the third one,
in England and the U.K.,
we'd beaten "The X Factor",
so we thought we were doing all right.
- Yeah. Wow.
- And then in America,
I'd watch to see whether
you switched from Super Bowl
to "Downton Abbey" or not.
And that gave me the idea
of whether we might get
another series or not.
People are fascinated about
what happened in these
houses, and at that time
because while there's a
hierarchy within the story,
there's no hierarchy
within the characters.
So you know the same
amount about the footman
as you do about the lord of the manor.
And I think that's
what appeals to people.
This was a very unusual job,
and those of us who'd
been around a bit longer
told the youngsters and said,
"Don't think this is normal.
"Don't think one of these
is coming next year,
because it won't be".
A lot of us, most of us
certainly by the end, all of us realized
that we were in something
that was unique and special.
Probably wouldn't happen
again in our careers.
Will you have enough clichs
to get you through your visit?
- If not, I'll come to you.
- Oh, here we go.
Up next, the cast of the
show take us behind the scenes
of the "Downton Abbey" movie as,
spoiler alert, a very special
guest comes to visit.
Welcome back to Highclere Castle,
one of the most famous
stately homes in the world,
where I've been invited
to experience a taste
of the royal treatment.
Of course, they're no strangers
to royalty around here,
and at the heart of the
"Downton Abbey" movie,
it's a visit by the king and queen.
And everyone's tremendously excited.
Well, I tell you, when
I read the script,
I opened the first page,
and saw that I have the line
that starts it, I was
like, "This is very cool".
- What have you got there?
- Wouldn't you like to know?
I'm the first person to receive the news
that the royal family are on the way,
and that-that threads
through the whole house.
The king and queen
are coming to Downton.
Yeah, well, it's-it's in the trailer,
so it's no big surprise that, uh,
we get a letter as indeed
we did get a letter
in the beginning of the very
first episode of seismic news.
That was the "Titanic" going
down. Now I get a letter
announcing another piece of seismic news
which is that the royal, uh, couple
are going to come to stay,
the-the king and queen.
And with that, of course, comes
a-a whole load of, uh, baggage.
Quite literally.
A royal luncheon, a parade and a dinner?
I'm going to have to sit down.
Even for the Crawleys, I mean,
they themselves live in this,
you know, beautiful home
which is, you know, for many people,
would feel it's like a royal household.
But even for them, it's a huge deal
that they're coming to visit.
It's a very exciting time
for the Crawley family.
It's a huge thing for the family,
and it's really huge for the staff,
who want to show Downton
off at their best.
Welcome to Downton Abbey.
What's really exciting
with the movie is the fact
that this grand occasion of
the royals arriving whilst...
it's such an honor for the
family and for the house.
It causes absolute pandemonium and chaos
within, uh, not only the family
but also the staff of the house.
I want every surface
to gleam and sparkle.
For most of the downstairs,
it's like, the FA Cup Final,
or for Americans, the Super-Super Bowl.
It's like, it's the hu...
it's the biggest thing.
They just want to put on
the best show they can
and-and be brilliant.
And then they kind of get sidelined.
So, my maids and I will not be
involved in the preparations.
You mean, during the stay,
you'll be the butler, and...
Excuse me, I am not a butler.
I am the king's page of the backstairs.
They have to join forces
and rectify the situation.
And there's quite a lot of,
um, fisticuffs that ensues.
How's it all going?
- Mary's got it under control.
- Hardly.
There was very much the sense
of, uh, h-how do you re-recruit
those who-who actually,
when we were in the
series, had departed.
I need your help, Carson.
I'll be there in the morning, milady.
Don't you worry.
It's very like Clint
Eastwood walking into town,
you know, to sort of
sort everything out.
I come in in a big duster
coat, mean and moody,
with a hat pulled down low over
my eyes, and I take charge.
Um, you couldn't have
"Downton" without Carson.
Your Majesties, welcome
to Downton Abbey.
A royal visit is a really big deal,
and it leads to all sorts
of conspiracy and intrigue.
Isn't that right, Allen?
I can't tell you anything.
I'd love to tell you.
I-I mean, this is... we're about
to go into the press tour,
and all we can say is "I
can't tell you anything".
Come on, Allen. You got
to give us something.
Branson certainly is
very, very prominent
within the movie, yeah.
Which I was delighted about,
because I kind of felt
it was nice that he...
he finished his story, and-and
it definitely does kind of
put a full stop on Branson's
story within Downton.
The, uh, the papers tell me the
king and queen will be staying
at Downton Abbey during
their tour of Yorkshire.
Well, if it's in the
papers, it must be true.
Yes, great honor.
Although, as an Irishman,
you may feel differently.
I know when my parents and all
have been paid a compliment.
Well, there's to be a
military parade, I gather.
How do you, how do you feel about that?
What do you mean, how do I feel?
Only you didn't say
whether you support them,
the king and queen.
I support Lord Grantham.
Very neat.
Not to be outdone by its
fictional counterpart,
Highclere Castle has also
played host to royalty.
That's a painting by Anthony van Dyck
of Charles I on horseback.
The real king and queen have
actually visited here before.
So what is that like? What's
that preparation like?
Well, funny enough, I wasn't
completely alive then...
- Oh!
- ...'cause it was before my time.
Whoops. Put my foot in my mouth there.
There hasn't been a
royal visit on that scale
in a really long time.
The connection to royalty
runs deep here in Highclere.
Your grandmother is the queen, correct?
- No, no...
- Oh, am I... Is that wrong?
I don't think I can claim
that close a relationship
- with the royal family.
- Oh, not that close. Okay.
No, she's my godmother,
which is, which isn't
a blood relation, but it's an
honor to be her godchild... son.
I can't catch a break here.
We're not British royalty.
I suppose you could
argue that-that people
with extraordinary heritage
and big wonderful country
houses like this one
are somehow connected to
ancient history in Britain,
and therefore may be connect-connected
to-to our royalty,
which of course goes back
many hundreds of years.
In 2010, a new chapter opened up
in Highclere's incredible history
when a then-unknown series
called "Downton Abbey" rolled in
and completely took over the place.
We're coming into a front room.
That's what's bizarre about it.
It's like, "Morning. How you doing?"
They were extremely
tolerant for so many years.
There's a rather magical
connection between us all,
because none of knew that we were
gonna be here many years later,
still celebrating something
that's, uh, proved so popular.
Downton Abbey is a
perfect representation
of what it was like to live
as an aristocrat in early
20th-century England.
The makers of "Downton Abbey" have
worked tirelessly to make sure
that every aspect of the show
is suitably regal and elegant.
Downton isn't a documentary.
It's a romantic view of the past,
which is one of the attractions of it.
But we were quite strict
on trying to obey the
manners of the time.
You would never see anyone cross
their legs in "Downton Abbey".
Certainly not in the first few seasons.
And, uh, if they did, woe
betide them, you know.
I mean, of course,
who knows whether people
crossed their legs or
didn't cross their legs,
but it just became a
form that, in our world,
that there was a sort of
formality of, uh, of behavior.
Alastair Bruce, who,
uh, was the etiquette
and-and kind of our historian as well,
he hated the fact that I always
put my hands in my pockets,
'cause he said, "You
just wouldn't do that".
So he had the c-costume
department sew up the pockets.
All the departments, like the
art department, the, you know,
the costume, makeup,
they all knew their-their
historical accuracy.
And even down to, if you
got a letter in the show,
somebody will have written
a letter... a proper letter.
That's how I found
out my name was Beryl.
I-I was given a letter
that was from my sister
and it said, "Dear Beryl",
and I said, "Excuse me.
"Is that my name?
"Has that been... is that a decision?
'Cause I'm... I'm not sure about Beryl".
And they went, "Oh, no, no, no.
Yes, we've run it by Julian.
You're Beryl". I went, "Oh, okay".
Some of these things wouldn't
be noticed by an audience,
but they certainly-certainly
help give a-an air
of authenticity or-or an app...
an attempt at authenticity
that we-we valued.
So now I know.
Don't cross my legs.
Don't put my hands in my pockets.
Look right before crossing the road.
The list is endless, but
I'm prepared to learn.
After the break, I'm gonna take
a look at life belowstairs.
It's all to come as we
"Return to Downton Abbey".
Welcome back to Downton Abbey...
I-I mean, Highclere Castle.
Everywhere I stick my head,
there's something breathtaking
and amazing to see.
This truly is how the other half lives.
Well, we've seen the upstairs,
the opulent rooms, the
extravagant luxury,
and the 24-hour service,
but not everyone was so lucky
to live in such splendor.
So what was life like for
those who lived belowstairs?
I assume this is your maid?
- Yes, this is Lucy Smith.
- Oh.
Good evening, Smith.
Good evening, milady.
- Hmm.
- I think the world
of Downton is
an exploration of what
it is to have class.
And that applies to both
the upper class and the lower class.
It's-it's, um...
Having class is treating
people with respect.
People always say, "I would have loved
to have been back in that time",
and I always say, "Well, where?
Do you want to be upstairs?
Or do you want to be down?"
Because, I mean, th... they
worked, and they worked hard,
and their life was-was one of servitude.
And I think there was a
lot of hardship in that.
We were told at the very beginning,
"Don't feel sorry for these
people. They have good jobs,
"they have a roof over their head,
"they have a kind employer, actually.
"They've got clothes on their back.
"Their friends and family and
peers are probably working
in a factory if they're
lucky, or a field".
These people have their own hierarchy,
which you can see in the show,
that... and in the film...
The downstairs hierarchy is
as strong as the one upstairs.
- Thomas!
- "Mr. Barrow" to you.
We're proud professionals.
We don't have to be
deferential to people upstairs.
We don't bow and scrape,
we're going about our business.
It's-it's like, um,
stage management and actors, really.
Y-You're all working together
for... on the same production.
You never hear anyone
knocking on a door.
You know, Carson and the
staff melt into a room.
Because if you knocked on
the door every time, they...
the family would spend
the entire day saying,
"Come in. I said come in".
I mean, for me, it's really difficult
to be invisible, because you can always
see my lanky,
big-head frame in the background.
That is another reason why
this sense of the downstairs
having their ears on everything
that's happening upstairs
but not vice versa.
The staff of the house
know everything that
the Granthams are up to,
but the Granthams
don't know what's go...
necessarily happening
amongst their staff.
It's quite funny, seeing
that dynamic going on
with, you know, above and belowstairs,
just, like, this... still trying to keep
this swanlike grace upstairs
while their feet are going underneath.
In the early years of the 20th century,
an estate like Highclere Castle
would employ 25 maids,
14 footmen and three chefs
on top of a whole load of valets,
grooms and estate managers.
You'd imagine that would
be enough for anyone.
But in the "Downton Abbey" movie,
the royal visit brings a whole lot more.
We have two of each.
The principal valet and
the principal dresser
will arrive in advance
of Their Majesties,
who bring an equerry, a lady-in-waiting,
two detectives and two chauffeurs.
The other chef goes
from Raby to Harewood,
four footmen go with him and
the other four come here.
Do you all understand me?
In "Downtown Abby" the movie,
we see the return of
our favorite characters,
including Carson the butler,
played with poise and precision
- by Jim Carter.
- I heard about
"Downton", um, in the way that
you hear about any job, really:
through my agent.
Uh, it was this, uh, period drama
written by Julian Fellowes.
I thought, "Ooh, "Gosford Park". Oh.
"Didn't he win a gold
statuette for that?
Hmm, got to be good".
And I read for the part.
A few weeks later, I met another actor
of similar generation to me,
and he said, "Oh, you swine.
You've got the only old man's
part in "Downton Abbey".
I said, "Excuse me?
I don't think of myself like that".
Carson was forced to retire
in the series finale,
but with a royal visit on the horizon,
his steady hand is needed to
bring some order to the chaos.
Please, come in.
I love it that she, you know,
she notices in Barrow
straightaway that he is like
a rabbit in the headlights
and can't quite handle
this huge thing that's about to happen.
- He won't clean the silver.
- What?
He says the page of the thingummy
will choose which pieces
- to use.
- I see.
She, of course, goes to
her-her best mate, Carson,
and, um, asks him to come back,
and I think that's such a
lovely moment in the film.
Fans are over the moon
to see him return,
but their enthusiasm
isn't shared by everyone.
This is the thing.
Carson is going to move
back into the house
for the royal visit.
The butler had great power.
They run the house, like...
And the-the-the lord
of the manor knew that.
I mean, the house is nothing.
If you're just, like, lord
of the manor and no one's
serving you, then you're
just a guy in a house.
They sure knew how to live back then.
Unfortunately, nowadays, the
service just isn't the same.
Hello? Yes?
Yes, Mrs... No? A tea, yes.
Two sugars. Thank you.
Doesn't work. I'm talking to nothing.
There was always more
of a frenetic energy
when you were filming downstairs
as opposed to when you
were up in the house.
Everything's slightly more sedate,
especially in the, in the
dining room, uh, where
it's very difficult
to shoot those scenes
so you kind of have a
certain level of calm.
Because the scenes were more formal,
people were more dressed up,
there was less hurly-burly.
There was a sort of slightly
quieter sort of feeling to it.
Plus... and, um, you
heard it here first...
the upstairs people would always get
their mobile phones out between takes,
which kept them quiet.
Downstairs was much more rambunctious.
But the scenes were
more hustle and bustle
and getting food ready and...
and there's a much
more energetic/chaotic
atmosphere downstairs.
The days upstairs, you can't help
but feel you have to be respectful of...
this incredible building.
Whereas, when you're
downstairs, you're in a studio,
You got a cup of tea,
you spill the cup of tea,
it doesn't matter,
because behind the set
is just an old studio.
I felt the quality
came through on the camera.
I think Highclere Castle shows up
very well on camera.
I think the costumes were fantastic
and got better and better
as the series went on,
particularly the women's costumes
as fashions changed and
the world of women changed
more radically than
anybody else's world.
There's no question that as soon as you
put on a costume from, from any era,
it immediately starts informing you
about the way that
character behaves or moves.
Particularly things like...
Well, when you're wearing,
you know, white tie and
tails, with a sort of
equivalent of a razor
blade round your neck,
making you stand and-and
move in a certain way,
Hey, you think, how did
they get through meals?
I would've hated going to dinner.
You know, constantly having to wear
these sort of great
cardboard, stiff things
that, you know, you
feel like a robot in.
For the girls,
girls were changing
clothes four times a day
if they were, you know,
high society, because
wasn't all that else to do, really.
Uh, apart from going riding and elope.
Has my new ball dress arrived?
Not yet. But it will.
The costumes are
just incredible in the film.
I mean, I never thought that Anna,
our amazingly talented
costume designer, could surpass herself,
because the last season
was extraordinary.
And she's just cranked it up
another notch for the film
and everybody looks incredible.
When we come back,
we're gonna find out about
the extraordinary connections
Highclere has with America.
And, of course, we're gonna take a final
sneak peek at the "Downton Abbey" movie.
Don't go anywhere.
There's much more to come as
we "Return to Downton Abbey".
I've been invited to Highclere Castle
where I'm getting an exclusive tour
and a cheeky glimpse of the
upcoming "Downton Abbey" movie.
More from the movie later.
Highclere Castle has been a
part of this ancient landscape
for over 350 years,
which makes it at least 100 years older
than the United States.
That's crazy.
"Downton Abbey" is
quintessentially English,
but it has an important
American connection.
We're looking at you, Lady Cora.
- Me? Why?
- It seems to me with Cora
that you have someone who is
slightly outside of the British way.
So, I suppose it gives
the audience a way in.
I think maybe that's why
American audiences love Cora
and they love the show so much.
She's kind of a consistent presence,
negotiating this family
that she's found herself in,
and so that continues in
the movie, I would say.
It's no wonder that "Downton Abbey"
was such a big hit back home.
It caught fire here,
but then the flames
were fanned in America
where people went crazy for it.
All over the world,
people respond very... "Oh!"
They love it, you know,
and to bring that sort of
pleasure to people is great.
I-I think that's the... kind
of the nicest thing about it.
I think, with America,
it's the fascination
of these houses and-and
this way of life.
There is a romanticism as well
about the British way
of life at that time.
I remember Hugh came back from America,
and he'd been in the White House
with Elizabeth and Lady Cora.
I mean, to name but one, Hillary Clinton
had edged her way across the room,
elbowing people out of the way,
so she could say hello and tell them
that all the Clintons watch "Downton"
every Sunday night in their pajamas.
- What?
- That's real.
Someone was jogging past me in New York,
and I was just sitting on the bench,
I was having a coffee, and
someone just went, "Hey, Andy!"
I was like, "What?"
And he was like, "Looking
forward to the film",
and then just jogged off. It
was, like, that is so weird.
I don't know if I will get used to that.
Passport control... I got stopped,
and the guy was very disappointed in me.
Looked at my passport,
looked at me, he was like...
He had just watched the
episode with his wife
where Branson had left
Sybil back in Ireland
even though she was pregnant.
And he just went,
"That was a crappy thing
you did to your wife".
So he was pretty upset.
I love meeting fans
who've watched the
show with their family.
It's something that I'm really
proud of about the show, is that it
is something that, um,
you'll sit down to watch
with your mum or your
grandma or your kids.
That sense of it actually being
a cross-generational show
became evident relatively quickly.
And it was so satisfying, so gratifying.
As I... as I said, none of us
could have anticipated that.
Fans simply can't get enough
of "Downton Abbey",
so what is the secret
to the show's success?
I think it's good stories
that people got hooked
into, and it was a...
you know, a warm and comforting way
to-to spend a-a Sunday evening.
And I think that worked
all across the world.
"Downton Abbey" is a phenomenon.
It came to life on our
television screens,
it touched our hearts, and
now it's set to capture
our imaginations once
again on the big screen.
It's been such a-an
amazing journey for us
to be part of the show and
to be part of something
that has had this success
around the world.
This was a very unusual job.
And those of us who've
been around a bit longer
told the youngsters and said,
"Don't think this is normal.
"Don't think one of these
is coming next year,
because it won't be".
Whoever was in this, be it Maggie Smith,
Jim Carter or Michelle Dockery,
Hugh-Hugh Bonneville,
this is the biggest thing we've done,
because this is one of the
biggest things that has been.
The stories that the show evoked
still touch people, you know, audiences
all over the world, and that's
very heartening to know
that the work we did is, uh,
sort of touching new
audiences all the time.
After all these years,
you still astonish me.
Oh, good. I'm glad I'm a revelation
and not a disappointment.
I feel really lucky to be
able to come back and do it,
and I feel really lucky with the film.
I feel like it's-it's just so exciting.
Just coming back together again
as this big family that we've
become has been amazing.
And it hasn't really
felt like work for me.
It kind of feels like we've
been having a bit of a party.
You know, I still say
making this film and...
returning to all these characters
has been a joy to play
and also a joy to watch.
I've loved seeing them all again.
It's been nearly four years
since "Downton Abbey"
last lit up our lives,
and it's about to return in grand style.
Be sure to check it out
in theaters from tomorrow.
This is a magical place,
and I feel honored to
have been a guest here.
It's time to leave now, but I, for one,
am already looking
forward to the next time
that I will "Return to Downton".