NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly talks with Downton Abbey government producer Julian Fellowes about the newest chapter in the Crawley family’s story, Downton Abbey: A New Period.


“Downton Abbey” is back again.


KELLY: Six years following “Downton Abbey” wrapped on Television set, just about a few many years right after its 1st film spin-off, now comes “Downton Abbey: A New Period.” Here’s executive producer Julian Fellowes, who established “Downton Abbey” and released the planet to the Crawley family.

JULIAN FELLOWES: I tied it all up at the close of Collection 5. I tied it all up at the conclude of Collection 6. I tied it all up at the conclude of the to start with movie.

KELLY: So what else is still left for Fellowes to tie up? Very well, for one particular, the beginning of this new period for the Crawleys.


HUGH BONNEVILLE: (As Robert Crawley) You steer in advance. You’re the captain now.

KELLY: Also, a relatives thriller involving Violet Crawley, performed by Dame Maggie Smith.


MAGGIE SMITH: (As Violet Crawley) Several years back, I satisfied a person, and now I have come into the possession of a villa in the south of France.

MICHELLE DOCKERY: (As Mary Crowley) What?

KELLY: And Hollywood comes to Downton.


JIM CARTER: (As Mr. Carson) A going photograph at Downton.

SOPHIE MCSHERA: (As Daisy Parker) Will there be film stars, renowned kinds?

KELLY: Julian Fellowes advised me that for grand old estates like Downton, modernity can be complicated.

FELLOWES: These properties, these families in which they endure – and many do survive to this day – they have to make adjustments. They have to study to live in a distinct way. They have to permit go of certain points and so on. And it’s considerably more durable for the more mature generations to enable go of the more mature way of existence than it is for the young. And I think that is reenacted in just about every era of existence, that we all conclude up staying informed how to work our personal computers by our children.

KELLY: If we’re fortunate, yes.

FELLOWES: And that’s the form of various edition of what they ended up likely as a result of, definitely.

KELLY: I read an job interview you gave in which you said – and I will quotation – “if people today observe a present I have published, have had a great evening and have loved it, which is enough for me.” Julian Fellowes, I read through that, and I imagined, gosh, it is awesome how uncommon it is for an individual just to say, appear I’m not trying to do something terrifically superior-stakes or controversial or provocative. I want folks to go to the movies and – gasp – have enjoyable.

FELLOWES: Indeed – cry a little bit, chortle a little bit. From time to time you hope you have sort of provoked a fairly exciting assumed they will look at later on when they are, you know, sitting in the visitors, waiting around for the light to change. I imply, I sense a solid portion of the amusement market is to entertain. I am not genuinely attempting to provoke the French Revolution. You know, I just like to make individuals imagine about items, probably alter their angle.

You know, with a character like Thomas, the footman at the beginning, he’s fairly a undesirable boy. And then as the exhibit goes on, ideally you recognize that it was quite tricky to be homosexual at a time when it was unlawful. And steadily, you appear to fully grasp his reserve. You know, if one crusty aged colonel in the north finds himself emotion somewhat extra tolerant, then fantastic.

KELLY: Considering the fact that you elevated him, Thomas Barrow, the footman who receives promoted to butler – he will get a notable storyline. He is homosexual. That is a thing the collection has explored. Without offering away any plot twists, we did say this is a delighted film. You happen to be striving to give men and women some pleasure. And Barrow finishes up Ok. He ends up superior than Okay in this movie, which is amazing. I did ponder, is it realistic, do you believe, for that period almost a century back?

FELLOWES: I believe it’s realistic in that men and women have to find a way in which they can have the romance that fulfills them. And, you know, ladies were allowed to stay jointly with out any individual definitely questioning it…

KELLY: Yeah.

FELLOWES: …Rightly or wrongly. But that wasn’t really permitted to guys. They had to have a cause to be living collectively. And I imagine, you know, they come across their rationale. And I assume that is plausible, certainly. And I imagine that pretty a good deal of that type of detail went on in the days significantly later on than this, essentially, when it was even now unlawful.

KELLY: “Downton” has generally been about the upstairs, the downstairs, the aristocrats and the servants who provide them. And you pursue all of their storylines with equivalent zest. I did question, seeing this, how you assume about making a movie that is – it truly is really much about privilege. It is really about rich white persons swanning all around their fantastic homes and their magnificent outfits. And I puzzled, does it really feel various to make that now than it did a decade-furthermore ago when you were being first casting “Downton”?

FELLOWES: No, not definitely. I suggest, we’re on the lookout at a specific way of everyday living. It involves some privileged folks. It consists of much more unprivileged persons. In my own head, among the servants, you get the different types. You get the ones who are resentful and unhappy like O’Brien. You get the types who adore the household and worship them and see them as their cleaning soap opera like Carson. You get the kinds for whom it was a task, who I am quite certain have been in the broad the greater part, like Mrs. Hughes. And I consider which is a reasonably truthful reflection of that society.

I imagine in the stop, you know, when you are heading to make any movie, any Tv demonstrate and generate a e-book, what you’re striving to do is to inform a fairly truthful tale about a team of folks. You know, I will not – I necessarily mean, this present day detail, current point that practically nothing is valid that is not about distress – I really don’t agree with that. I think misery is wonderful to investigate and to dramatize and all the rest of it, but I will not feel it really is compulsory.

KELLY: Is “Downton” heading to go on endlessly? Are we likely to be turning it into Lord Grantham’s…

FELLOWES: Properly…

KELLY: …I don’t know – great-excellent-good-wonderful-grandkids running all-around the dwelling?

FELLOWES: I am not going to go on eternally. So I consider there would be a real issue acquiring “Downton” to go on endlessly. Whether it truly is come to an end or not, I couldn’t explain to you.

You know, I imply, a single of the other things is that through the lifetime of “Downton,” the entire mother nature of showbiz, of how you make films, of how they’re unveiled, the platforms – all of this is diverse from what it was 15 decades – I signify, really distinctive. Now, of course, people today complain about it just one way. But I feel it also is continuously throwing up new possibilities, new prospects, new means of performing factors. And, you know, I like that. I imagine which is appealing. And I like becoming component of it. So if “Downton” is to be reborn in a unique condition or measurement, then, you know, I hope I am component of that.

KELLY: Well, might I say I hope you might be not rather completed yet due to the fact this was a great deal of enjoyment.

FELLOWES: Very well, we are going to see – none of us eternal.


KELLY: That is “Downton” creator Julian Fellowes. Julian Fellowes, thank you.

FELLOWES: Thank you for obtaining me. It was quite nice of you.

KELLY: The new movie is “Downton Abbey: A New Period.” It is really out up coming week.


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