Joanne Frog­gatt


Play­ing the beloved Anna Bates, Joanne Frog­gatt has been one of the break­out stars of UK se­ries Down­ton Abbey. Not only was she sin­gled out by the Golden Globes in 2015 as Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tress in a Se­ries, TV Se­ries or Tele­vi­sion Film, she’s also a three-time Emmy nom­i­nee for Out­stand­ing Sup­port­ing Ac­tress in a Drama Se­ries. But as the se­ries comes to an end this sea­son, Frog­gatt, 35, is also mov­ing on to the next chap­ter of her life. And it couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent.

What’s next for you af­ter Down­ton Abbey? Next up, I play Mary Anne Cot­ton, the first fe­male se­rial killer in Bri­tain. It’s set in the Vic­to­rian era and is a two-part mini se­ries called Dark An­gel.

It must have been chal­leng­ing to play some­one so dif­fer­ent from Anna? Yes. It’s funny. Peo­ple asked me, ‘What do you want to do af­ter play­ing the lovely Anna?’ and I’d say, ‘Prob­a­bly do­ing the po­lar op­po­site, like play­ing a mur­derer.’ And here I am. If things scare you, then they’re worth do­ing.”

Have you changed any­thing about Joanne since play­ing Anna Bates? I wear a lot less black since play­ing Anna (laughs).

You and your hus­band James (Cannon) have left the York­shire Moors for sunny Los An­ge­les. What brought about that big change? I re­ally want to work here and it makes sense to com­mit and give it a go. I haven’t got a job lined up in LA yet but my hus­band and I fancy a bit of an ad­ven­ture and we thought, ‘Why not live in the sun­shine for a lit­tle bit?’ I’ve re­ally em­braced my new life.

What about start­ing a fam­ily? Yes, we’ll see. We’d like to start a fam­ily.

Down­ton’s John Bates is the per­fect hus­band — does your hus­band feel any pres­sure to fol­low in Bates’ foot­steps? I hope he doesn’t fol­low in Bates’ foot­steps (laughs). I’ll tell you, I don’t want all that trou­ble, thank you very much! But he’s very kind. Even more so than Mr Bates.

What was the last day of film­ing like for you? Our last day of film­ing was re­ally emo­tional for all of us. I went to thank the crew and I just burst into tears. Even the burly crew mem­bers were cry­ing in a cor­ner. It felt very sur­real.

How do you look back on the ex­pe­ri­ence of Down­ton Abbey? I feel the show gave us a great sense of achieve­ment which was won­der­ful.

Are you happy about how each char­ac­ter’s sto­ry­line wrapped up? Yes, I’m happy. I think all the char­ac­ters are left in a re­ally good place, not that ev­ery­one is left in a hap­pily ever af­ter sit­u­a­tion, by any means, but I think the char­ac­ters we all love are in a place we all feel okay about.

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