Downton Abbey Was A ‘Nightmare’ To Film For Many Cast Members

The making of 'Downton Abbey' is filled with dark secrets including how miserable cast members like Dame Maggie Smith truly were.

After the first episode of Downtown Abbey premiered in 2010, it didn’t take long for the show to become a huge sensation all over the world. As a result, Downtown Abbey was able to build a highly devoted fan base made up of people who can’t get enough of the series. Sadly, however, unlike some shows that stick around too long, the Downtown Abbey TV shows came to an end after only 52 episodes.

Fortunately for Downtown Abbey fans, the show has been revived in a new form. After all, several years after the last episode of the show aired, a pair of film follow-ups were released in 2019 and 2022. While Downtown Abbey devotees were overjoyed to see it come back in any form, it seems possible that some of the actors associated with the show may have felt differently. After all, it has been revealed that some of the people who starred in Downtown Abbey found working on it to be a “nightmare”.

Maggie Smith Had Some Complaints About Her Downtown Abbey Experience

During her legendary career, Maggie Smith has landed a lot of notable roles. As a result of all the success she has enjoyed, it is safe to say that Smith is an extremely wealthy person. On top of that, it seems clear that Smith is the kind of actor that virtually everyone wants to work with which means she can be picky about the roles she takes. Despite that, however, once Smith agrees to a role that means a lot to her fans, it would be hard for her to walk away from them. With that in mind, it makes sense that when she spoke to ES Magazine in 2019, Smith admitted that she didn’t get much enjoyment out of starring in Downtown Abbey and Harry Potter.

“It seemed to take ages to get away from light comedy. I am deeply grateful for the work in Potter and indeed Downton, but it wasn’t what you’d call satisfying. I didn’t really feel I was acting in those things.” While it is nice to know that Smith appreciates her Potter and Downtown Abbey roles at least, it is likely to come as a shock to many that she didn’t get satisfaction out of those roles. However, her take on her most famous TV role makes more sense when you learn that Smith was really bothered by one aspect of starring in Downtown Abbey.

Throughout the history of Downtown Abbey, Maggie Smith has brought Violet Crawley to life and Penelope Wilton has portrayed Isobel Crawley. During several of the scenes the two actors have shared, their characters could be seen having tea and cake. As it turns out, Wilton once revealed that she and Smith became really sick of having to eat the same fruit cake on set over and over again. “We get the same bit of fruit cake every time we have tea together. We asked for a change the other day but got told ‘well this is what they would have eaten.'”

While some people may roll their eyes at highly paid actors complaining about having to eat cake, there is something they may be forgetting. Even though some folks love fruit cake, the vast majority of people can’t stand it. If most people were forced to eat something they really don’t like over and over again at work, that would frustrate them too. No wonder Maggie Smith has admitted that she has never watched Downtown Abbey.

Wearing Their Downtown Abbey Costumes Was A “Nightmare” For Many Of The Show’s Stars

When most people think about the show Downtown Abbey, there are a few things that come to mind first including the show’s fascinating characters and dramatic storylines. Of course, the show’s incredible locales and costumes are also among its most notable calling cards. As it turns out, however, even though a lot of Downtown Abbey fans may have enjoyed seeing the show’s incredible costumes, a lot of its stars couldn’t stand wearing them. After all, Downtown Abbey’s chief ­costume designer Susannah Buxton told The Mirror that the corsets that were worn during the first season were an ordeal to have on.

“In the first series they were wearing those ­really tight, severe, S-shaped corsets and they had real problems. It’s a nightmare for those poor things. They were very, very uncomfortable. You have to learn to wear them, and of course, the girls are not used to it. They were so tight cast ­members couldn’t even eat in them.

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