With the entire world still getting over the deaths of Lady Sybil and Matthew Crawley and the announcement that ladies maid O’Brien would be leaving the great house for pastures new, Brendan Coyle has declared that series four of Downton Abbey will be the best yet!
Last year saw the departure of the two beloved characters as the cast’s original 3 series contracts came to an end, with many an open door proving too tempting for some of the them who had revelled in the world-wide acclaim the show’s success had granted them.
Many wondered how the show could cope with such a mass exodus, forcing pretty much every writer and member of production to release statements promising that the show would recover and rise bigger than ever, and now it is the turn of Brendan Coyle, who plays valet John Bates.
Coyle is well known for being a tad outspoken, having found himself at the centre of many a Twitter spat for voicing his strong opinions, but still no one could deny that when it comes to Downton Abbey his word is almost as good as god’s!
Speaking to Digital Spy about the fourth series, which is due to air on screens this autumn, Coyle commented:
“I’m going to stick my neck out and say it’s our best series ever. It’s certainly my best series ever. I’m really, really grateful for Julian for that. My storylines are phenomenal… And I’m not going to die in a car crash!”
On the subject of Hollywood legend, Shirley MacLaine who joined the cast in series three, and who has been confirmed as returning this year, he explained:
“We’re in love and we’re moving to Santa Fe. She’s invited me to her ranch. I love Shirley MacLaine.
“She’s just great. The cast adore her and she got stuck in. She had to adjust to the way we film over here. She was like, ‘It’s pissing down and you’re still filming?’ But she adjusted to it beautifully. She’s a great crack. She’s great and she’s seen it all. There’s no airs and graces or front.
“She’s able to laugh off the things written about her. When she’s asked about the things said about her and Maggie Smith, she says, ‘Well we were lovers in a previous life’. She’s canny.”
Meanwhile Tom Cullen, who has been cast this series to play a new love interest for Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) who was left widowed when Matthew (Dan Stevens) was killed in a car accident during last year’s Christmas special, said of his casting:
“My friends and family are so excited. My grandma was absolutely over the moon, it’s her favourite show. That was really nice to be able to tell her I was in it.”
And to put fans minds at rest about him jumping ship US side like his predecessor did, he assured:
“To be honest I’m not even thinking about America. If I was to start thinking about the enormity of Downton and the size of the project then I wouldn’t be able to be very truthful to the work. I would start to watch myself too much.
“I’m not evening thinking about it. Who knows what will happen.”
Downton Abbey returns to our screens for series four this autumn, watch a behind the scenes documentary narrated by Hugh Bonneville who plays Lord Grantham in the window below: