Richard E Grant Feared He Had Missed His Invite For Downton Abbey

Photo: Getty Images / Mike Marsland/WireImage
Photo: Getty Images / Mike Marsland/WireImage

Richard E Grant has been talking about his upcoming role in series five of period drama Downton Abbey. Speaking to Vulture, Grant revealed he thought he had missed out on a role in the show. “I thought, ah well, I’ve missed out on the Harry Potter franchise, and I’ll miss out on the Downton phenomenon.” However, this turned out not to be the case as Grant was approached via email to play in four episodes, and instead of playing someone downstairs, as he did in movie Gosford Park, he will be playing someone upstairs this time around, and he “said yes fast” to the role.

Richard E Grant starred in Gosford Park alongside Dame Maggie Smith, which was also written by Downton creator Julian Fellowes, and he explained how he thought maybe that was why he hadn’t been approached. “Of all the Gosford cast, only Dame Maggie Smith was cast in Downton Abbey,” he said. “I thought there was, for want of a better term, a creative embargo there. That Julian didn’t want any overlap.”

He went on to joke that maybe he wasn’t first choice, saying “It’s possible someone turned it down or dropped dead. Who knows?”

Grant will play the role of art historian Simon Bricker in a four episode arc of the show, due to air later this year but added “I’m told if I say anything more my knees will be taken off.”