The big name with two left toes. Why producers had to call in the Military. And the twist that had the actors reeling. Imelda Staunton, Allen Leech and the Downton Abbey solid present an explanation for the film’s most startling secrets 

It’s 1927 and the appearance of King George V and Queen Mary at Downton has everyone on tenterhooks, not least for the highlight of their search recommendation from – the huge Royal Ball. Entirely the highest dresses and the most vivid jewellery will enact. And as for the dancing, smartly, the King is maybe the clumsiest man in the room, though no person will uncover him. He appears always to be treading on unlucky Queen Mary’s toes.

It’s 1927 and the appearance of King George V and Queen Mary at Downton has everyone on tenterhooks, not least for the highlight of their search recommendation from – the huge Royal Ball

Matthew Goode and Allen Leech in the brand new Downton Abbey film. The solid present an explanation for all about capturing the film

By overall consent, the belle of the ball is Woman Mary. And the design enact we all know? Because in between takes of a gruelling 12-hour shoot for the brand new Downton film, Imelda Staunton (Woman Maud Bagshaw, the Queen’s girl-in-ready) and Allen Leech (footman grew to alter into estate supervisor Tom Branson), amused themselves by marching between the dancing couples, marking them out of ten.

‘We would possibly perchance maybe stroll as much as the couples and open judging them love on Strictly,’ says Leech with a grin. ‘Michelle Dockery [Lady Mary] is an unparalleled dancer – if any individual would possibly perchance well enact Strictly, it’s her. And resulting from the males had to position on long socks for the dance scenes, you salvage to gaze their legs. Hugh Bonneville has the most unparalleled calves.’

The worst dancer in the solid, it appears, was once Simon Jones (the King), who ‘spent time beyond regulation standing on the toes of the Queen [Geraldine James] than on the flooring’.

The necessary-anticipated film launches straight into the motion when Lord Grantham and his partner Cora (Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern) study of the Royal search recommendation from to Downton Abbey, data that straight away pitches the complete family correct into a frenzy.

One one who is extra perturbed than most, on the change hand, is Woman Maud Bagshaw, cousin of the Dowager Countess’s leisurely husband. It’s certain that Woman Maud and Violet Crawley (Dame Maggie Smith) don’t always salvage alongside, for causes that virtually right this moment change into apparent.

Harry Hadden-Paton and Laura Carmichael in an intimate scene from the brand new Downton film

The postulate of a film came as a surprise to Downton’s creator, Julian Fellowes, who wrote all 52 episodes of the drama’s six sequence

Maggie Smith and Michelle Dockery possess returned for the Downton film. Dame Maggie was once the final of the 20 predominant solid participants to tag on for the film, having beforehand alarmed that a giant-display camouflage camouflage adaptation would be ‘squeezing it dry’

‘Maud knows there goes to be be troubled when she arrives at Downton,’ says Staunton, ‘and she knows she has to stand her flooring with Violet. They’ve each had to fight their corner in life and to boot they’re each stable characters. They salvage to possess a traipse at each varied here too, which is dazzling resulting from you fetch to possess a genuinely appropriate tennis match.’

As matches traipse, theirs is with out anxiousness a Federer-Nadal ding-dong. Woman Maud is maybe the true personality who can salvage away with telling the Dowager Countess, ‘What piffle you talk!’, though, as Staunton says, ‘Maggie pretty rightly will always salvage the true lines, resulting from no person can negate them love her.’

Would we derive the ambitious Dame Maggie as upsetting in staunch life?

‘Yes, that you would be in a position to well perchance!’ laughs Staunton. ‘And what I love about Maggie is that she doesn’t care whether folks love her. If there’s one thing she’s unhappy with in the script, she’ll command, “That doesn’t sound merely” or, “Why am I asserting that?”, and she’ll work on it unless it’s merely and she’s never not as much as gleaming.’

Staunton is married to Jim Carter, Downton’s former butler Carson (whose illness in the final season has miraculously disappeared) but insists that her inclusion in the film was once ‘a high-tail all of a sudden. I’d ultimate visited the distance once ahead of and there had never been any talk of me becoming a member of the solid.’

In actual fact, she and Carter, separated by the massive social divide of their characters, didn’t even possess any scenes together. ‘Nothing in any admire,’ says Staunton. ‘He was once on the more than a couple of cease of the eating room and I didn’t even salvage a look, to not command possess Carson pour me a tumbler of wine.

‘We every so often ever work together, so Jim and I got entirely over-considering about going in the automobile and riding to work. However I was once very aware of coming into his territory. The film is 90 per cent the conventional solid.’

The necessary-anticipated film launches straight into the motion when Lord Grantham and his partner Cora (Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern) study of the Royal search recommendation from

Pondering about the joy that has been effervescent ever since a Downton film was once launched final year, there had been surprisingly few design leaks

The film has already sold extra come tickets in The United States than Quentin Tarantino’s hit As soon as Upon A Time … in Hollywood

In actual fact, Dame Maggie was once the final of the 20 predominant solid participants to tag on for the film, having beforehand alarmed that a giant-display camouflage camouflage adaptation would be ‘squeezing it dry’. However as producer Gareth Neame explains, ‘It wasn’t irregular for us resulting from she was once the true actor in the TV present an explanation for who didn’t possess a contractual obligation to come help yearly. She always kept us ready as as to whether she would enact any longer.’

The postulate of a film came as merely as necessary of a surprise to Downton’s creator, Julian Fellowes, who wrote all 52 episodes of the drama’s six sequence and thought he had introduced the myth to an cease four years ago. ‘I deliberately wrote a final-ever episode, considering that would possibly perchance well tie up the strings and traipse away everyone overjoyed. Then we had a social gathering on the Ivy Membership, everyone cried and that was once that. So it was once pretty a surprise when a couple of years later the postulate of a characteristic film began to buzz round.’

The buzz clearly affected the solid, who grew to alter into shut-knit correct by their five years of engaged on Downton. Time wanted to be built into the time table correct by the initial study-by to accommodate your complete hugging.

‘We’d all merely genuinely uncared for each varied,’ says Leech. ‘At some level of filming, everyone picked up merely where they’d left off.’

Pondering about the joy that has been effervescent ever since a Downton film was once launched final year, there had been surprisingly few design leaks. ‘It’s been ingrained in us to not command anything else,’ says Leech.

Tweeting is strictly forbidden – when Richard E Grant tried to tweet on space he wanted to be forcibly stopped – though actor Dan Stevens, Woman Mary’s leisurely and much-lamented husband Matthew Crawley, is a serial culprit, even when he isn’t starring in it. He once prematurely tweeted a Christmas particular (‘that was once big be troubled’) and final year sent followers into meltdown after tweeting a represent of him, Leech and Dockery with the caption: ‘Can possess to Matthew possess a moustache for the #DowntonAbbeyMovie..?’

‘He was once trolling the followers with that one,’ grins Leech. ‘We each now live in LA and when Michelle came around, we all went for dinner, took the photo and posted it.’

In spite of the code of omertà, Leech admits that correct by the final couple of seasons his personality Tom Branson had rather tailed off, but in the brand new film his characteristic is very critical. Now not ultimate enact Branson’s erstwhile Irish republican sympathies land him in be troubled, but after years spent pining for his leisurely partner, Woman Sybil Crawley, Branson eventually will get some cherish.

He’s considered in the film’s trailer exchanging meaningful glances at some level of the driveway with Lucy Smith (one other newcomer, Tuppence Middleton), girl’s maid to Maud Bagshaw. There’s also a highest-looking out scene of the couple dancing together delivery air a moonlit Harewood Home, thought to be one of Downton’s new locations. ‘And that hadn’t even been scripted,’ says Leech. ‘I’d already accomplished all my scenes for the film and had arrived help in London when I got a call asserting, ‘We need you help the next day.’ I thought they were joking, but thought to be one of the significant producers had an thought of filming a scene delivery air, so I got the 6am prepare help to Yorkshire, and Tuppence and I learnt that dance in an hour-and-a-half of.’

Harewood Home is dwelling in the film to Lord Lascelles (Andrew Havill), who is married to the King and Queen’s daughter, Princess Mary (Kate Phillips). The Grade I-listed pile shut to Leeds was once thought to be one of the significant stately properties on the initiating regarded as as a imaginable Downton Abbey ahead of the producers alighted on Hampshire’s Highclere Castle.

‘It was once unparalleled to reveal that the staunch Princess Mary had genuinely been in the rooms and bought company where we were filming at Harewood,’ says the film’s American director, Michael Engler, who also took payment of the TV finale. ‘Now we possess one scene where Princess Mary has the Downton women folks over for tea. There were a couple of customary chairs in the room that were some distance too beautiful for us to make spend of, but we left them in the background as they were so extraordinarily highest-looking out.’

The massive Royal Ball ostensibly takes build aside at Harewood, but the scenes were filmed in the Marble Saloon of Wentworth Woodhouse, shut to Rotherham. ‘There wasn’t a large ample room at Harewood,’ says Engler. ‘Wentworth had the insist to enact your complete things we wanted to enact.’

Huge helium lighting balloons were frail to buy away darkness from the ballroom scenes, providing mammoth gentle with out adversarial the ceilings with their warmth. Round 200 costumes were required for the ball. Woman Mary wore thought to be one of the significant significant interpret, an customary Twenties gown that costume vogue designer Anna Robbins found in London’s Portobello Market.

WHY THEY HAD TO CALL IN THE ARMY

One of many most impressive scenes in the film is the King’s parade, which was once filmed with the infantrymen and horses of the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, a ceremonial unit of the British Military. Whereas they’ve in overall featured on tv, appearing in each Trooping the Coloration since 1997, here is their first appearance on the massive display camouflage camouflage. ‘They’re love the Red Arrows,’ says producer Gareth Neame, ‘they mission Britishness. So it felt love we were a appropriate aggregate.’ 

The King’s Parade took three days to film final autumn in Lacock, Wiltshire, ‘We had to search out an adjacent self-discipline so that it would possibly most likely well be grew to alter into into an Military camp for approximately 80 horses and 125 troopers,’ says Neame. ‘We built stables, tack rooms, officers’ quarters, quarters for the more than a couple of ranks and we wanted to be careful to destroy up the women and boys into varied areas.’ 

Even supposing the King’s Troop were playing a historical reserve unit in the film, says Neame, ‘resulting from the guns and uniforms that the King’s Troop build on this day are in overall equivalent to what a Yeomanry Regiment would possess worn in the Twenties, they grew to alter into up nearly digicam-ready.’

Whether Downton Abbey will shut the door on any of its accepted characters stays to be considered, though be warned – the film contains a shock that would possibly rock audiences help of their seats. ‘All americans was once rather vastly shocked by it, in particular on the study-by,’ says Fellowes.

Staunton sees eye to eye. ‘You’re going alongside with the myth after which… pow! However you’ve got to possess some heartstrings being pulled.’

The film has already sold extra come tickets in The United States than Quentin Tarantino’s hit As soon as Upon A Time … in Hollywood, so with Fellowes having left sure ends delivery, would possibly perchance a sequel already be in the offing?

‘Now we possess started alive to in it,’ says Gareth Neame.

Staunton, on the change hand, as befits Woman Bagshaw, is extra forthright. ‘They’re idiots in the occasion that they don’t prepare,’ she says, ‘resulting from if this film’s a giant success, it would possibly most likely well be excited to not prepare it up.’ 

‘Downton Abbey’ is launched on September 13