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Hugh Bonneville: 'Subtle snappers are really obvious'

Published 16/11/2015

Hugh Bonneville
Hugh Bonneville

Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville would prefer it if his fans didn't try and snap photos of him while he ate.

The English actor has been a screen regular since the early '90s, but his casting as the Earl of Grantham in the period drama suddenly opened him up to a whole new, global, audience. As a household name fans get excited when they see him out, though at certain times it can get on Hugh's nerves.

“No, not really, not anymore," he told Flavourmag when asked if he could stroll around London, UK, unnoticed. "It’s just a by-product of the ways things are.

“In the age of the camera phone it’s a bit weird when you’re sitting having dinner in a restaurant and people think they’re being very subtle taking a photo while in fact they’re being very obvious. When you’re in the middle of a mouthful with friends or family and people come up asking for a photograph, that’s when you want to say, ‘Actually, I’m going to say no - I’d like to finish my meal’."

Prior to Downton, Hugh had supporting roles in movies like Notting Hill and Iris, but the lavish drama has afforded him more prominent parts. Now the TV show has come to an end after six seasons, the 52-year-old has even more time to scope out new projects. Next he can be seen in Viceroy's House, opposite Gillian Anderson and Michael Gambon.

"If I had only ever done Downton I would have been a very happy man, but I think I might have been stuck in a bit of a rut," he confessed. "But to be able to flex your comedic chops doing W1A (TV show), and Paddington, has been really lovely and I hope it means I won’t forever be cast in roles that involve Labradors!"

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