Dominic West said that getting into the cast of Downton Abbey was “very difficult” and that his first experiences on set were surreal.
The actor will star in the upcoming Downton Abbey film: A New Era, alongside such well-known actors from the series as Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery.
West describes the entrance to the Downton family in a new weekly review podcast, Downton Abbey: The Official Podcast.
The podcast, hosted by Jacqueline Coley and Anita Rani, features exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes access to the cast’s production teams.
Speaking on the podcast, West said: “It’s tough being on a show that’s been going on for a long time, it’s such a huge phenomenon and such a huge hit.
“I’ve never been to Highclere (the castle) before… you go up the driveway and you go over the foothills and it’s there.”
“It’s like some sort of Disney castle and you can’t believe it’s real.
“It’s an extraordinary outline against, against the horizon and … so it’s kind of a first breather.”
When meeting his co-stars, he added: “I’ve had a whole day or two, even with Maggie Smith. I sat next to her at that famous dinner table.
“I’m talking to her…she’s the funniest woman alive and also the cutest.
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“It was funny sitting there talking to her, it was amazing and… all the actors sat down and you could see how long they’ve been doing this.”
The West is no stranger to the aristocracy.
The UK-born star of The Wire and The Affair is married to Irish aristocrat and landscape designer Catherine FitzGerald, whom he met when the couple was in their 20s and was studying at Trinity College Dublin.
FitzGerald is the daughter of Glin’s 29th and last Knight, the late Desmond FitzGerald, and his wife Olda.
When he’s not at his home in Shepherd’s Bush in London or the couple’s home in the Cotswolds, West, his wife and four children live in the FitzGeralds’ ancestral home, Glin Castle, overlooking Shannon in Co Limerick, which has been in the family for eight centuries.
The 21-bedroom Georgian and demesne home and its sprawling grounds are still home to the FitzGerald family, which the couple took over and turned into an exclusive private rental business.
It has hosted the likes of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Ronnie Wood and the late Nobel laureate Séamus Heaney.
West said that the dining scenes in Downton’s new film were “difficult to film” due to the heat and the need to film each character, but added that he was “like a kid in a candy store” throughout the process.
Downton Abbey: A New Era is the much-anticipated cinematic return of the global period drama phenomenon, which follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants.
The film, written by Julian Fellowes, sends familiar faces to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Queen’s newly inherited mansion as they attempt to escape a film crew. in Downton.
It will hit theaters at the end of next month.
Downton Abbey: The Official Podcast will be available on all major podcast networks from March 15.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/dominic-west-describes-daunting-experience-of-joining-downton-abbey-cast-41447011.html Dominic West describes ‘difficult’ experience joining cast of Downton Abbey