A: Before starting filming season one, I watched some documentaries about the time period and how things were changing for women. I read a book called Keeping Their Place, which is a selection of letters and diary entries from servants and their employers. I also watched some films based in similar time periods or in similar households to get my head into the time and the social etiquette. We have a fantastic historical advisor who is with us on set pretty much 24/7 and he is always on hand to answer any questions we may have, about the history, the etiquette, how to turn down a bed, how to stand etc. We all try and add as much detail as possible which hopefully makes the world of Downton that much more believable.
A: Busy! We have a very tight schedule and our crew work especially hard, but we have become a very close bunch and I have had more laughs on the Downton set than any other job I've worked on. For the last few series, we've organized a cast and crew BBQ half-way through the shoot and they are the best nights, when everyone gets to relax and just hang out. We have a lot of fun.
A: I think the hardest spoilers to keep quiet were when Jessica Brown Finlay and Dan Stevens left. At Jess's leaving drinks, signs were put up with happy birthday on them so no one would know she was leaving.
A: We are all totally thrilled that Downton has become so loved across the world. It's been such a fantastic experience to be a part of. On a day to day basis, when we are filming we don't really think about what's going on in the outside world. We're just concentrating on doing a good job. It's usually when we start doing publicity for the next series that we are reminded of the growth of the show and the expectation from the viewers. This is an exciting time, I'm always thrilled when people tell me they get such enjoyment from our show, it's a nice feeling. I enjoy the buzz and speculation surrounding the show at Emmy time but I don't go searching for it. I keep my feet on the ground, concentrate on my work and enjoy the ride.
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