Jim Carter Q&A: ‘Downton Abbey’
“The rhythm of our life is to do a job and move on. ‘Downton’ was unusual because it was six years, and I’ve never done that before,” admits actor Jim Carter about saying goodbye to his long-running role of Mr. Carson on “Downton Abbey.” The BBC show which aired on PBS in America ended a few months ago. In our recent interview (watch above), he adds, “I didn’t make a big fuss over it, but you do miss it because it’s been such a big part of your life and it’s brought a lot of pleasure both to me and the viewing public.”
His character of Charles Carson, the head butler for a British estate in the 1920s, finally admitted his true romantic feelings towards head housekeeper Elsie Hughes (Phyllis Logan). He proposed to her this past season and followed with a wedding. The scenes surrounding the courtship and marriage of this older couple featured tenderness as well as laugh-out-loud moments.
Carter has been nominated at the Emmys the past four seasons as Best Drama Supporting Actor. Of those bids, he says, “I feel really honored to be recognized like that. I take the recognition for all the members of the cast (and) feel a little strange Phyllis Logan isn’t up there with me because Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes are such a couple. I always feel Phyllis should be on my shoulder. It came out of the blue, and it’s been a real treat.”
In remembering back to first receiving scripts for the show in 2010, he adds, “When you start a drama like this, you have no idea how it will be received. You think the script is good, the cast is good, we’ve got Maggie Smith, so we’re in with a shout. Hopefully we’ll make a decent program. In England it did very well, but certainly when it came here (U.S.) it really caught fire. The level of enthusiasm was enormous, and that was reflected in the awards season when we got nominated a lot.”