Would Downton Abbey stars invite film crews into their homes?

The latest cinematic outing for Downton Abbey sees Hollywood taking over the home of the Crawley family. But some leading members of the cast have given the idea of a movie crew in their own homes a big thumbs down.

Downton Abbey: A New Era is released in UK cinemas on 29 April.

Video transcript

FREDA COOPER: One of the main storylines in the film is about the film being made at Downton. So I wondered how you would all feel about a film crew coming to make a film at your place.

LAURA CARMICHAEL: There was a scene where Hugh Dancy, who plays the director of the movie, is coming to scout the location, and Simon Curtis, our director, gave him a note that, you know, you know, he just storms in. He doesn't wait for anyone to open the door for him. He's like having a look around, because that's just what happens with film crews. You come into a location like you own it and put up stands here, there and everywhere, knock things over. And I think I feel like the Carnarvons are going to watch this film and relate to Lady Mary's panic.

ALLEN LEECH: Quite heavily, yeah.

HUGH BONNEVILLE: I mean, I'm sure the pay can be commensurate and can make a difference, but really, I think the idea of having 100 people trampling all over your furniture, as indeed, Robert alludes to in the story, would, would put me off.

FREDA COOPER: He's not keen, is he?

PENELOPE WILTON: I don't live in a house as big as, you'd be surprised to hear, as big a a house as Highclere.


PENELOPE WILTON: And in a small flat having 45 people walking through, you know, unfortunately, I'm thinking of moving in. There you go.

FREDA COOPER: Now one of the main storylines in the film involves a film being made at Downton. I wondered how you'd feel about letting a film crew into your own homes.


PENELOPE WILTON: I would hate it.

ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: It'd be an interesting question to put to the Carnarvons, who are the family that own the castle. And we invade their space, or did for all of the years of the series. And I don't think they were best pleased, so.

PENELOPE WILTON: We did save their roof. Yes, we did save their roof.

FREDA COOPER: Oh, really?

PENELOPE WILTON: Oh, yes, I think so.

HUGH BONNEVILLE: I think their roof is going to be safe for some time to come.


HUGH BONNEVILLE: I think the statistic was, I remember talking to the butler after, when we came back for the second season. And he said that in the first year they'd had 60 coaches while we were filming, you know.

ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: Tourist coaches.

HUGH BONNEVILLE: Tourist coaches coming. And then by the time we came back for the second year, they had 600. And I think it's only grown exponentially since. So fight to get a ticket, you know.

FREDA COOPER: But you wouldn't entertain the idea?

HUGH BONNEVILLE: Never in a million years.

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