The star of “Downton Abbey” thinks it might be time to hang up the bowler hat.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hugh Bonneville talks about making the feature film sequel, “A New Era”, and why the TV-turned-movie franchise might need to end.
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“Obviously, the mechanics of it are still very much the same. But I think there’s this sense of scale, which was captured particularly in the second,” he says of the sequel. “The second film really did feel like a movie to me, because [cinematographer] Andrew Dunn was able to really point his camera on that, particularly the French skyline, and it really felt very sumptuous.”
Asked about rumours that the franchise may be heading back to TV, Bonneville says, My god, I hadn’t heard that one. But I suspect, if there is, it would be a reboot. An origin story or something like that. I mean, there’s clearly an appetite for these sorts of shows. ‘Bridgerton’ has been a magnificent success. So if you can capture the younger generation to enjoy people in frocks, then go for it. But yeah, I think it’d be immensely unlikely that we would be brought back as a cast.”
He adds, “It’s seven years since we did the TV show. Returning as we did for those two films was really lovely, but I think there’ll be a whole new generation, like ‘Star Wars’ spinning off all over the place.”
As for whether he’d be interested in returning for a TV reboot, though, the actor says, “I literally hadn’t thought of it. I have no idea. I’d never say never. I’d do anything for the right money.”
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In fact, Bonneville reveals he’s not even sure a third “Downton” film is in the offing.
“I suspect, on a practical level, it’s run its course now. I think that was a good time to quit,” he says of the ending to the sequel. “I don’t know. I’m never gonna second guess the future, but did think for a while, actually, yeah, why not, let’s keep going. But I do think it could get a bit thin. I think the second film was such a joyous one and such a good note on which to end the story. And it does feel like it can end. There’s still open doors in it, but I think it might be the right time to stop.”