Denker is really quite formidable and complex… you’re in for a few surprises! She’s very efficient, but runs into conflict almost immediately with Spratt - Violet’s butler. He thinks he runs the place and she thinks she does. The Dowager has to keep stepping in to sort them out like a couple of kids! She’d never lock horns with Violet, though. Working with Dame Maggie was fantastic, I’ve loved her from afar for years. She’s a master of her craft, but also great fun. Her character has some amazing lines and she delivers them with perfection. It’s hard keeping a straight face. - Sue Johnston on her character Gladys Denker, Women’s Weekly
This Sunday sees the first episode of the fifth series of Downton Abbey hit our screens, so what better way to introduce such a grand occasion than by speaking to the head of the household himself.
That is precisely what Unreality TV were lucky enough to do after the press launch for the new series last month, where we discussed with actor Hugh Bonneville his character, Lord Robert Grantham’s role in the next season.
Episodes were shot at Highclere Castle in Berkshire, and Connie Barker said her grandsons took to it straight away - believing they were just going to a castle to dress up.
“The boys had to have the same outfits and had to get in at whatever time they were told and whichever boy was receptive on that particular day did the filming,” she explained. “They’re just children so they took it in their stride.
“We thought they’d been chosen as they had long curly hair, but every time they went they had their hair cut short.”
She added they got used to life on set - and even asked their mum if she was “going to make-up” when she went to the hairdressers.
Spoilers from that article:
And in one scene, Zac had been supposed to sit next to actor Shirley MacLaine, who plays grandmother Martha Levinson.
The four-year-old found her “scary looking” and instead went to hold the hand of Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Cora, Countess of Grantham.
Um, what? I didn’t think Shirley McLaine was in S.5. It could be mistaken identity???
After filming the Christmas special on a sunny August day, Zac and Oliver wanted to put up the Christmas tree at home.
So there will be Christmas in the Christmas special? Yay.
She said series creator Julian Fellowes had confirmed there would be another series, but the twins’ position would hinge on how far forward in time the story jumped - as they may look too young for the role.
They are coy to the press, but six does seem to be happening.