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Hugh Bonneville: ‘Downton Abbey’ sequel was a ‘huge jolly’

Cast members Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery and Laura Carmichael arrive for the world premiere of Downton Abbey: A New Era in London on Monday. REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska

Cast members Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery and Laura Carmichael arrive for the world premiere of Downton Abbey: A New Era in London on Monday. REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska

Published Apr 26, 2022

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Hugh Bonneville claims that filming Downton Abbey: A New Era was a “huge jolly”.

The 58-year-old star reprises his role as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, in the period drama’s big-screen sequel and enjoyed getting to film in the south of France.

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Speaking at the world premiere of the movie in London on Monday evening, Hugh said: “We had to quarantine for a week which was a little bit annoying but it was a pretty nice week to spend by a pool.

“Once we got on set it was hard work because it was hot but it was good and it was very satisfying.

“There was a time when we feared we weren’t going to get to France at all and we would have to cobble together some villas in Britain and the light wouldn’t have been the same.

"We very fortunate and yes it was a huge jolly."

Hugh also reacted to praise for his tan and explained how he and co-star Jim Carter (Charles Carson) go bronze easily in the sun.

He said: “Jim Carter and I are famous for tanning as soon as the sun comes out and I had been doing a lot of gardening before we started filming. So I think that explains some of it anyway.

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"Mr Carson in his trunks and his Speedos is something to witness!“

Hugh admits that he was thrilled to give Downton Abbey fans a new movie following all the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Paddington actor said: “It feels remarkably special, actually. Everybody’s been through so much and for us to be able to give a bit of fun to our loyal audience at long last means a huge amount.

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“We felt very fortunate to be filming when we did and we feel very fortunate to get a release now.”

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