Cast’s down­cast farewell

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Lon­don

Just like its fans around the world, Down­ton Abbey cre­ator Ju­lian Fel­lowes does not seem to be able to let this se­ries go so easily.

The Bri­tish writer has not even fin­ished shoot­ing the last scene for the sixth— and fi­nal— sea­son of the wildly suc­cess­ful se­ries, but he is al­ready gun­ning for a movie.

“I doubt it would be a pre­quel. I mean, if the movie hap­pens it would be a con­tin­u­ous one with the same peo­ple,” he said in Lon­don on Tues­day at a Bri­tish Film and Tele­vi­sion Academy cer­e­mony honor­ing the se­ries.

“I’d like a movie. I think it’d be fun,” he says.

BAFTA Cel­e­brates Down­ton Abbey was a chance for cast mem­bers, who fin­ish shoot­ing this week and have al­ready said a num­ber of good­byes, to have an in­stant re­union.

Some, like Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith, still have a few days to pre­pare emo­tion­ally for the last “cut”.

“The last day is Fri­day,” she says. “I’ve al­ready blubbed say­ing good­bye to dif­fer­ent cast mem­bers, so I’msure I won’t be able to speak.”

El­iz­a­beth McGovern says she was not as stoic as she thought she would be.

“I de­cided I wouldn’t cry, but I did. I shed a fewtears.”

Her on-screen hus­band Hugh Bon­neville, who plays Lord Gran­tham, took a more prac­ti­cal ap­proach to say­ing good­bye to cast mem­bers he has worked with for the past six years.

“I fin­ished yesterday along with Michelle Dock­ery (who plays Lady Mary) and Allen Leech (who plays TomBran­son),” hesays,“andwe­had a pint in the pub to say farewell.”

The stars agree they will miss the friends they have made along the­way— and will also hate giv­ing up their cin­e­matic al­ter egos.

Pro­duc­ers Ju­lian Fel­lowes, Liz Trubridge and Gareth Neame were pre­sented with aBAFTASpe­cial Award by JulieWal­ters for the im­pact the show has had on global au­di­ences. Only the Harry Pot­ter fran­chise team has been awarded a sim­i­lar tro­phy.

The sixth sea­son of Down­ton Abbey will start air­ing in Bri­tain next month and in the United States next year.

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