I won't ditch Downton Abbey: Hugh Bonneville says he has no plans to relocate across the Atlantic like other Brit actors
He's the unlikely toast of Hollywood after the Golden Globe Awards this week, impressing movie and TV bosses with his show-stealing acting performances and down-to-earth charms.
But Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville has no plans to relocate across the Atlantic permanently, like many other acclaimed British actors have before him.
Instead, the 47-year-old is returning to Britain to try to secure for himself the best lines for Downton series three from writer Julian Fellowes.
Winning team: Actress Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California
‘I wouldn’t like to break Hollywood,’ Bonneville confirmed to a friend of mine at an event just before the Globes. ‘I’ve worked there several times, but my home is the UK. That’s where my work and my roots are.’
He also has no desire to conform to the image that being a Hollywood success often requires. ‘I don’t want to exercise a lot. I’m lazy and I’m not self-conscious.’
Meanwhile, despite intense pressure from fans for more episodes, ITV and Lord Fellowes have decided series three — set from 1920 to 1921 — will run for only eight weeks.
But I am told both parties are close to agreeing to produce a second movie-length Christmas episode following the phenomenal success of the first.
While Bonneville didn’t win an individual award at the star- studded Globes, his performances have been credited as a crucial factor behind the show’s victory.
And the star of the BBC Olympic-themed comedy Twenty Twelve intends his focus to remain on Downton this year.
‘It has become like a family to me,’ he explains. ‘When Julian Fellowes says “jump”, you say “how high” because you want better lines in the next episode.’
American TV executives are hailing ‘the Downton effect’ as the reason behind a wave of U.S. period drama series. Major network ABC is making Gilded Lillys, which follows the mingling of the classes (sound familiar) at New York’s first luxury hotel at the turn of the 20th century.
And NBC, another terrestrial broadcaster, is working on a version of Dracula set in the 1890s.
Hollywood star Robert Vaughn begins his much-anticipated four-week stint in Coronation Street next week.
And, surprisingly, the acting legend famous for The Man from U.N.C.L.E, The Magnificent Seven and, more recently, Hustle wasn’t too expensive.
Cheap date: Robert Vaughn didn't make extreme demands to make an appearance in Corrie
Corrie executive producer Kieran Roberts tells me: ‘We didn’t have to change our payment structure, other than throwing in a plane ticket to and from the U.S. It is a real coup.’
Robert — a fan of the work of Stephanie Cole, who plays Sylvia — was keen to do the show. His character, Milton, is introduced as her love interest.
Nicole Scherzinger is not only being courted by Andrew Lloyd Webber to
be a judge on his new Jesus Christ Superstar talent show on ITV1, but
also to take a leading role in the musical.
The composer wants the American X Factor judge to play Mary Magdalene in the production, which will open at London’s 02.
the former Pussycat Doll may not be able to commit. My source says:
‘She doesn’t know if she’ll be asked back for American X Factor, so it
is hard for her to make decisions.’