‘Very daunting’ Dominic West admits concerns as he joins cast of Downton Abbey sequel

Holly Willoughby addresses Dominic West and Lily James photos

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Award-winning actor Dominic West has spoken of his concerns ahead of joining the cast of Downton Abbey. Speaking in a new interview, the Hollywood actor, 52, candidly addressed his new role in the upcoming film, Downton Abbey: A New Era, which stars original cast members including Hugh Bonneville, Dame Maggie Smith and Michelle Dockery.

It’s very daunting coming onto a show that’s been going for so long

Dominic West

Speaking on Downton Abbey: The Official Podcast, The Wire actor opened up on his thoughts about joining the cast of the popular show.

Dominic told hosts Jacqueline Coley and Anita Rani: “It’s very daunting coming onto a show that’s been going for so long that is such a big phenomenon and such a big success.

“I’d never been to Highclere [castle] before… you go up the drive and you come over the brow of the hill and there it is.

“It’s like some Disney castle and you can’t quite believe that it’s real,” he added.

Dominic went on: “It’s such an extraordinary outline against, against the horizon and… so that was the first sort of intake of breath.”

The star also opened up about meeting his castmates for the first time, detailing his encounter with Dame Maggie Smith, who plays Violet Crawley in the hit series.

Dominic told how he sat next to her “at the famous dining table”, before branding her “the funniest woman alive and also the sort of cattiest”.

He said: “It was funny sitting there talking to her, it was brilliant and… all the cast sat down and you could see they’d been doing this for however long.”

Hinting at the scenes he’s set to appear in, Dominic admitted that he found some more difficult to film than others.

Despite admitting that he was like “a kid in a candy shop”, the star told how the eating scenes were “difficult” to film due to how hot the set was.

Dominic’s role in the Downton sequel comes a year after pictures of him and his The Pursuit of Love co-star Lily James were leaked, sharing what appeared to be an intimate kiss.

At the time, Lily did not address what happened but she has since seemingly broken her silence with a cryptic comment.

Lily explained that lack of privacy in the public eye is common in a recent interview, seemingly in reference to what happened.

She said to Rolling Stone this month: “Women in the public eye at some point experience some sort of difficult situation in their relationship between privacy and your life being in the tabloids.

“It was a lot. It’s a story as old as time.”

After the pictures emerged, Lily said that she didn’t want to talk about it.

She told the Guardian in May 2021: “Ach, I’m not really willing to talk about that. There is a lot to say, but not now, I’m afraid.”

After the images were unveiled, Dominic and his wife attempted to get rid of the attraction from the press.

The pair wrote a sign and placed it outside their home, insisting that their marriage was still “strong” and they were “very much still together”.

Downton Abbey: A New Era will be released in UK cinemas on April 29.

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