Downton Abbey season two is just now showing in Australia and Brendan Coyle has been doing some promo for the series there. He recently spoke with The West Australian about Downton's worldwide success, season three, being considered a sex symbol, his new show Starlings and more.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
Irish actor Brendan Coyle is slightly bemused by the level of global success reached by Downton Abbey. During the first series he got tweets about the show from all over the world, in one night from as far away as Alaska and New Zealand.
"I thought, something mad is happening here and it is great," he laughed.
...The second season covers 1916 to 1919 but the third will slow down again and cover just 18 months.
"We rattle through a lot of storylines in order for the war to end but season three we are getting right back down to the detail of lives - we have to or we are all going to be 100 in season five."
One of the most tangled storylines of the series follows the romance of Bates and head housemaid Anna Smith. He is trying to get out of his marriage to the scheming, selfish Vera who is blackmailing him with the threat to reveal Lady Mary's scandalous affair with a Turkish diplomat in season one.
Once again Bates is doing the noble thing and suffering for other people's misdeeds.
"Some people do find that frustrating," Coyle said. "But he has to put duty first, he is very much a man of his time.
"To him it seems he has no option - he can't allow this family to fall into disgrace and if that means sacrificing his life, temporarily, I think he thinks it will come good in the end but for the moment he has to protect Lord Grantham's reputation.
"This man saved his life during the (Boer) war and gave him a job."
But he adds that viewers should also remember that romance was difficult downstairs in those days. Couples generally could not stay in service if they married.
And in the early 20th century, it was a very good job working in a big house. It wasn't cushy exactly but it was a desirable position. Life outside of service was bleak and could be a choice between the mills or the workhouse.
Read the full interview here including Brendan's feelings on being considered a "sex symbol". Let's just put it this way...he's over it.