This Week I Shall Be Talking About- Downton Abbey 2. Thomas Barrow

Thomas, played by Rob James-Collier is my favourite character now. He grew on me very slowly from series 1, but then again I always like the baddies. Far more interesting and complicated than the clean cut heroes.

I found this nostalgic interview with Rob James-Collier from one day after the first showing of Series 1: Episode 1. When he did this interview, I bet he didn’t think in a few years he’d be an international star on the cover of every magazine.

Rob James-Collier works hard for Downton


Former ‘Coronation Street’ actor Rob James-Collier admits he had to ”up his game” to keep up with his ‘Downton Abbey’ co-stars like Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville.

Rob James-Collier had to “up his game” to keep up with his ‘Downton Abbey’ co-stars.

The former ‘Coronation Street’ actor – who plays corrupt footman Thomas in the new ITV1 period drama – felt like he had to give “120 per cent” when starring alongside Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville in the show, because acting has always been difficult for him.

Rob James-CollierHe told BANG Showbiz: “Acting has been a challenge for me from day one. I’ve got friends who acting just comes naturally to them. I’ve had to work really hard.

“With a cast like this, I had to be working at 120 per cent the whole time just to keep up with them, but that can only make me a better actor. It’s definitely made me up my game.”

The 34-year-old star – who previously played Liam Connor in ITV1’s ‘Coronation Street’ – also admitted he feels very “lucky” in his career, as there are people who are much better actors than him.

He explained: “It was just a quirk of fate that I fell into it. I wasn’t happy with what I was doing, but I had never specifically intended to become an actor. My friend was doing a student film at Salford University and one of the actors dropped out. Me being me, I was game for a laugh and turned up and did this part unpaid on a cold Sunday morning on my day off and ended up absolutely loving it.

“I went through the Yellow Pages to find an agent and called up the first bloke I saw and started acting classes the next week. Four months later I got my first job! I was incredibly lucky. There are a lot of people who are better actors out there than me.”

The first episode of the seven-part drama series aired last night (26.09.10) on ITV1.

It seems so sweet now to think he didn’t know what a smash hit Downton Abbey would be!


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