Raquel is back for Downton Abbey: A New Era as Phyllis Baxter (Picture: Mike Marsland/WireImage)
The hugely popular TV series, created by Julian Fellowes, is finally back with its second film – Downton Abbey: A New Era – later this month, after multiple release delays.
The trailer has revealed a split between two major locations – that of Downton Abbey, which is seemingly turned into a film set, and a villa in the south of France, mysteriously bequeathed to the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Dame Maggie Smith).
Downton newcomer Hugh Dancy plays director and producer Jack Barber, while Laura Haddock is actress Myrna Dalgleish.
Less is known about Dominic’s character Guy Dexter, but he too is a visitor at Downton.
In a recent interview The Wire star had admitted it was ‘daunting’ to be joining something that is ‘such a big phenomenon and such a big success’.
Dominic plays new charcater Guy Dexter (Picture: Getty)
Raquel shared her experiences of shooting with new Downton cast members (Picture: Getty)
‘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 told Downton Abbey: The Official Podcast. ‘It’s such an extraordinary outline against, against the horizon and… so that was the first sort of intake of breath.’
However, Raquel – who plays the Countess of Grantham’s (Elizabeth McGovern) lady’s maid, Phyllis Baxter – was surprised to hear that her new co-star had felt nervous, revealing: ‘It’s funny that Dominic should say that because by the time I saw him on set he felt like he owned the place!’
‘I mean, he’s so charming and so lovely – and actually looks and behaves, and sounds, like he could live in a house like that,’ she told Metro.co.uk.
The sequel film lands in cinemas at the end of the month (Picture: Ben Blackall/2021 Focus Features)
‘He was really, really fun. It was fun to watch him and Laura play together. They were gorgeous. And she felt a bit like the queen, the Queen of Downton!’
Discussing her experience of the cast welcoming new characters into the fold, she continued: ‘I remember we filmed a scene with Hugh really early on. I think it was his first day of filming – and it’s a lovely bunch [of people] and when you come back for a film, it’s short and it’s such a celebration because we’re doing a second film – that’s got to be good for everybody because it’s a job – we’re coming out of Covid, or despite Covid we’re doing a job. It’s a job we all love.
‘So it’s actually really easy to welcome people in and we’re very lucky, they’re gorgeous. And Tuppence [Middleton, who plays Lucy Smith] came back after the first film and she’s adorable. She came to France as well!’
‘It’s not difficult to welcome people, I don’t think, under those circumstances and the people that we were gifted, to join the cast, were great fun and really great,’ she added.
Laura Haddock also joins the cast, with Raquel describing her as like ‘the Queen of Downton’ (Picture: Ben Blackall)
Raquel also revealed – with that little she could say – that she did film with the newcomers, despite Baxter being out in France for the majority of the movie.
‘There’s a fantastic scene that I can’t talk about, but ultimately we all go back to the to the Abbey and the film’s still being filmed,’ she teased.
Discussing the possibility of a third Downton film, the actress confirmed that she would ‘absolutely’ say yes to returning.
‘I think the only thing is if it clashes, and you have a part that you’ve never done before that you really want to do, I think that’s where you go, “Oh no, I want to be able to do both”, and sometimes those things don’t happen.’
The star was confident her colleagues would also be up for returning.
‘I would imagine I could speak for most of us, but I’d be back in a heartbeat. Really, the more I do this the more I enjoy it.
‘I wasn’t ready for the series to finish because I only joined halfway through series four, so I hadn’t given six years of my life to it, but every time I go back, I enjoy it more.’
Downton Abbey: A New Era is out in cinemas on April 29.