Downton Abbey star Siobhan Finneran says, “I love O’Brien most when she’s being spiteful”
As fans of Downton Abbey will know, scheming lady’s maid O’Brien will stop at nothing to exact revenge when she’s been scorned…
And in the last few episodes, we’ve seen her manipulating Thomas Barrow (Rob James Collier) into believing that new footman Jimmy (Ed Speelers) has the hots for him, which he so doesn’t.
So in last Sunday’s trip to Downton, we saw Thomas making a move on Jimmy, which O’Brien’s nephew Alfred (Matt Milne) witnessed and later, after yet more stirring from O’Brien, Alfred told Mr Carson what he’d seen.
And it’s this type of manipulation that Siobhan Finneran, who plays O’Brien, just loves to portray.
In a recent interview with Radio Times, she said, “I actually have great fun being sniffy to everyone!
“I love O’Brien the most when she’s spiteful and has a brilliant put-down. She’s a clever lady and a bad enemy to make.
“Some people think she was just born bad, but I believe that at some point she has had some damage done to her.
“I have invented a back story for her, although whether that matches what (creator) Julian Fellowes had in mind, I’m not sure.
“The fact she had a nephew and family came as a surprise.”
Siobhan, who also plays the part of Janice in Benidorm, added that she’d love to see O’Brien with a man in her life.
She said, “O’Brien with a boyfriend would be stupendous! Who would be brave enough to take her on a date?
“Kevin Doyle, who plays Joseph Molesley, and I are always speculating what our characters would be like on a date – it would be hilarious.”
O that would rock wouldn’t it? She’d eat the poor man alive!
Anywho, here’s the official synopsis for next week’s episode, followed by a clip of Rob James Collier and Siobhan Finneran discussing their roles…
Episode: 8 of 8
Sunday, 4 November 2012, 9:00PM – 10:30PM
There is excitement in the house and village as the annual cricket match approaches, and it brings out Robert’s competitive side.
As Violet’s great niece Rose arrives, a trip to London reveals there is more to her than meets the eye.
Thomas’s future is in Carson’s hands, but Bates may be an unlikely ally.
What secrets are Mary and Matthew holding back from each other?