Downton Abbey Screening and Cast Q&A

Posted on December 16, 2011

We had the distinct pleasure of attending a screening hosted by WNET, the New York PBS station, of Downton Abbey’s premiere episode of season 2. The first 50 minutes of it, anyway. Even better, we had the pure thrill of several cast members coming out for a 45-minute Q&A afterwards.

Joanne Froggatt (Anna), Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley), Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Grantham), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham), Executive Producer Gareth Neame (charming and kind of hot).

Here, Elizabeth McGovern, who, along with Hugh Bonneville, sitting to her right, found out about her Golden Globe nomination that day, tells how her life mirrors Cora’s in that they both moved to England, married Englishmen, and are raising daughters who sometimes think she’s a dumb American.

Michelle Dockery and Dan Stevens. All the ladies were gorgeous and jarring in their modern makeup and 6-inch heels. We sat in the front row, with all their massive suede pumps right at eye level. It was all we could talk about afterwards. We’re fashion bloggers. Sue us.

Everyone was super-charming and genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves. They were very appreciative of the crowd and open and fun with their answers. The mood was heightened by the Golden Globe announcements.

Lorenzo asked a question about the costumes (of course) and how it affected performance. In responding, Elizabeth does her best Maggie Smith impersonation, huffing about her apparently annoying high lace collar.

EVERYONE talked about Maggie constantly, in the most glowing and affectionate terms. Several were asked to do an impersonation, but Hugh admitted outright he was too afraid to do so.

After the Q&A, coffee and dessert were served, and the attendees could all line up for a chance to chat with, and get autographs of the stars.

Neither of us are autograph-seeker types, but Lorenzo has the biggest crush on Anna and Joanne looked so cute in her Jason Wu dress that he got in line  just to tell her that. He told her that she was his favorite, she seemed touched, and then she told him how much she’s loving being in New York in December. They all said that. In fact, they mentioned that they were all going out partying as soon as the event was over. How surreal would it be to party with Lord and Lady Grantham at some dive bar in Manhattan at 3 am?

We will have a review of the episode (LOTS of juiciness!) and writeup of the Q&A soon, darlings. We’re going to be blogging Season 2 of the show, which starts airing here in the U.S. on January 8th on PBS. Before that, we’ll blog through Season 1 starting later this month. Get out your DVDS! And if you don’t have them, we’re pretty sure you can find S1 on Netflix streaming. Several PBS stations will be airing S1 marathons later this month and early next month as well.

U.K. kittens are asked to refrain from any S2 spoilers in the comments section.

[Photo Credit: courtesy of]

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