Downton Abbeys Rob James-Collier reveals reaction to horrific gay storyline

Robert returns as Thomas (Picture: ITV)

Former Corrie star Robert James-Collier has revealed his own reaction to landing an important gay storyline in the upcoming Downton Abbey film.

The actor, who plays valet-turned-butler Thomas Barrow for the big-screen outing, after starring in the ITV drama, said his plotline shows the treatment of being a gay man in the 1920s.

Speaking of being given the opportunity to lift the lid on what it was like, James said it was an emotional insight into a horrific period for gay people.

Its a like a separate film so what a lovely thing, Thomas has got this little vignette off on the side, he told Press Association.

When all the pomp and circumstance with the royal visit is going on, you cut to Thomass story so Im like “Thank you Julian (Fellowes, the writer) for trusting me that I can do this”.



You see Thomas discover a whole new world, and that is closer to who he is and there is a joy there, but then that joy may get taken away but its a very emotional, Thomass journey.

File photo dated 09/09/19 of Downton Abbey star Robert James-Collier, who has spoken of how proud he was when he learned about his storyline in the upcoming film of the hit ITV drama. PA Photo. Issue date: Wednesday September 11, 2019. The former Coronation Street star, who reprises his role of gay valet-turned-butler Thomas Barrow for the big screen outing, said his plot line shows what is was like for a man to be homosexual in the 1920s. See PA story SHOWBIZ Downton. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Hes opened up on his important storyline (Picture: PA)

He continued: It also hammers home what it was like to be a gay man in those times, it was horrific and its brought back and it just shows how different it was.

It must have been so hard for him and that is why the people warm to him and root for Thomas now, and they certainly will in the film if you watch it.

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The film isnt even out yet and fans are already wondering if there will be a sequel, with Jim Carter putting his hand up to take on his character, butler Charles Carson, should the right opportunity present itself.

With the main cast reprising their roles for the film, which is set to hit the big screen on 13 September, fans are already wanting more, and the 71-year-old isnt ruling anything out, explaining: If this goes down well and, lets face it, makes lots of money, who knows?



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