Belfast Telegraph

Monday 5 October 2015

O'Brien tricks for Downton's Thomas

Published 15/09/2013

Rob James-Collier plays footman Thomas in Downton Abbey
Rob James-Collier plays footman Thomas in Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey star Rob James-Collier has revealed footman Thomas has learned a few nasty tricks from housemaid O'Brien in the new series.

The actor admitted he really missed actress Siobhan Finneran, who does not return as Thomas' scheming partner in crime for season four. But he revealed he learned a lot from The Syndicate actress, and Thomas learned a lot from O'Brien too.

Rob said: "It's a tough one for me, because I love her as an actresss, I love her as a person. And I had this idea of how to play a villain, I'd never played one before, he was going to be big, grandiose and over the top.

"Then Siobhan turned up and we did rehearsal, and it was all behind the eyes, she was so still, so measured. And it made her so scary and so intimidating, and I thought, 'Yeah! That's the way to play it.' And I tried to copy her, unsuccessfully.

"It was great. I learn from people like Siobhan. She's the best actor I've ever acted with. And she's very much missed by myself and everyone in the crew."

The last series saw Thomas outed as gay after he misread the signals and made a pass at footman Jimmy, but Butler Carson and the Earl of Grantham saved him from being reported to the police.

Rob said that Thomas' near downfall - as homosexuality was illegal in that period of history - has not changed him.

He revealed: "Thomas is raising anarchy and creating mayhem in Downton Abbey. You'd think last year would have humbled him, when he was outed and his reputation was nearly ruined, he could have gone to prison. But he's back to his same old self.

"I don't know if he's meaner... he's more devious, he's cleverer. He's not so brazen, he's a lot more subtle. In many ways he replaces O'Brien for spinning webs of deceit."

From the web

Sponsored Videos

Your Comments

Comments posted this week will only be visible until Saturday Oct 3 and will not be available to view after that date. This is due to essential upgrade work on our content management system and we apologise for any inconvenience.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph