Rob James-Collier for OUT Magazine
Since we’ve all got Downton on the brain today, darlings, let’s all gaze lovingly for a moment at the valet we love to hate. There are worse ways to spend your time.
‘Downton Abbey’ star Rob James-Collier covers the February 2013 issue of OUT magazine photographed by David Bailey and styled by by Julian Ganio.
“My agent said, ‘Listen, you’ve got the part that everyone in town wants—he’s a villain, he’s a great role, the only bad thing is that he dies at the end of the first series,’ ” recalls James-Collier. But Thomas clicked with the audience, and his on-screen chemistry with his maid counterpart, O’Brien (a wonderfully surly Siobhan Finneran), was irresistible. “I gave it 110 percent, and after the first couple of episodes, Liz, the producer, came to me and said, ‘We want you to stay on. Will you?’ And I was, like, ‘Fuck, yeah.’ ”
“Downton Abbey is a workplace like any other. You’re going to get cliques of people who don’t like each other — Thomas and O’Brien versus Bates and Anna — and you’re going to get people who really love doing their jobs and people who are bitter and feel they’re just a number. It’s about relationships in the workplace environment, and people can identify with that because the same problems and political conflicts you have in work today were relevant back then.”
“If you were gay in those times, the fact that you’re even functioning, how you’re not completely fucked up by that, is beyond me.”
“If you’re including a gay character, there’s an onus and responsibility to at least show what the impact of the time will be on him, and of him on that time. Thankfully we’ve done that, and I’m so proud that I’ve been used to tell that tale.”
Not much of an editorial, but that boy’s got FACE.
[Photo Credit: David Bailey for OUT magazine]