Rob James-Collier talks about his Downton Abbey character, Thomas Barrow

by Lynn Connolly

Rob James-Collier has been telling What’s On TV magazine what it’s like playing his Downton Abbey character, Thomas Barrow.

As fans of the show will know, last week, we saw Thomas returning to Downton Abbey after injuring himself on the front lines in France so that he could be medically discharged from active duty.

And of course, Thomas’s scheming nature has made him an ideal friend to the equally scheming Lady’s Maid, O’Brien (Siobhan Finneran), and of their relationship, Rob said, “She’s responsible for getting him back to Downton Abbey, so they pretty much hit the ground running with their scheming like before.

“Basically plotting to bring about everyone’s downfall and for their own benefit. We love our ‘smoking and plotting’ scenes out the back, and there a plenty this time around in Downton!”

And when asked how Thomas feels about being back at Downton after his experiences in France, Rob said, “He’s been though a lot, suffered and experienced the horrors of it all, so it puts thing into perspective for him.

“Soldiers never come back as the same person – how could they after what they went through?

“Petty things like getting one over on Bates don’t mean so much. When he deals with wounded soldiers at Downton he genuinely cares for some for the first time.”

WOTV then asked Rob if he likes to play the role of a baddie, to which he replied, “Oh yes, the devil always has the better tunes!”

And finally, Rob revealed that he hasn’t, as yet, had any real abuse from viewers over his devilish character.

He said, “I do have a bit of Thomas banter with the ladies in the bank and post office of my local village.

“They boo me when I come in! But it’s all affectionate and nice because it’s good that your character has an effect on people.

“Thomas definitely isn’t dull. They don’t actually believe I’m like him though, thankfully.”

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.