Belfast Telegraph

James-Collier fears the Downton axe

Rob James-Collier has said he lives in fear that each new Downton Abbey script will bring his character's death because he is so horrible.

The actor told The Sun that he loved playing mean under butler Thomas Barrow in the ITV drama, but that he had to check each new storyline for his demise.

He said: "I check for death first in every script - the first thing I want to know is, 'Am I alive at the end?'."

Rob explained that Thomas was so horrible to the other characters because of the pain of keeping his homosexuality hidden.

He said: "It's finally dawned on Thomas he isn't going to be allowed to love and he may give up hope in that department... At the time it was illegal and against God to be gay, so he's got this tremendous cross to bear."

The star continued: "In series three we covered Thomas's sexuality and we saw him more favourably and scared and the audience warmed to that. But now the shutters are back up and he's guarded and alienated and an outsider, because he can't express who he really is. He's not allowed to express how he really is."

Rob added that he was keen to see Downton continue for years to come, but had a cut-off point in mind.

He said: "I've always said we should stop after Beatlemania. Get to Beatlemania, get to She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. Could you imagine Mr Carson dealing with Beatniks?"

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