It’s Downton Abbey season again! Well, it is if you’re in the UK, anyway. All of the pre-Downton chatter has me thinking about the actors in real life. Some of them look the same in modern dress – Lord Grantham and Bates, for instance. When I see some of the other actors on a 21st century red carpet, I think they’re from some show I don’t watch. It’s like taking your great-grandma whom you’ve only seen in old photo albums and dressing her in skinny jeans. Honestly, though, some of them are secretly seriously attractive under that ‘20s garb. To wit:
While Mary and Sybil carry the title of “Lady”, Edith’s title is “Poor.” As in, “Poor Edith always gets jilted” or “Poor Edith always tries to marry married men” or “Everyone Poor Edith knows dies tragically.” Yes, her sisters dealt with worse tragedies than her, but you have to admit that there’s a hangdog, unfortunate vibe surrounding Edith. The “Poor Edith” thing isn’t helped by Downton’s stylists. Compared to Mary and Sybil, Edith is certainly the dowdy sister. That’s all TV magic, though. When Laura Carmichael is out in modern-day clothes, she’s every bit as pretty as her on-screen sibs.
What a difference a buzz cut makes. While I do think Thomas isn’t half bad looking, you can’t deny that he’s a total dirtbag. Once Rob James-Collier has the layer of Thomas slime scrubbed off, he looks like such a nice guy.
She’s playing a scullery maid, so this isn’t necessarily fair. Still, the fact remains that Daisy looks pretty plain on-screen. Casting directors must have seen some rough in the diamond, because is actually super-pretty.
Thomas Howes – William
Proof that everyone looks dopier with slicked-down hair.
Siobhan Finneran – Mrs O’Brien
I KNOW, right? Between the weird sausage curl bangs, Victorian spinster dress, and dour attitude, O’Brien is unappealing to say the least. It’s a huge shock that in 2013, Siobhan Finneran looks like she’d play a pretty teacher or nice young mom.
Dan Stevens – Matthew Crawley
Brown hair? Good. Facial hair? Good. A beard that looks like it’s been blasted with spray snow? Not so good. If Dan Stevens would trim up that frizzy beard and hit it with some Just For Men, I’d call his 21st century self a major upgrade.
The biggest difference is definitely in the downstairs folk, and you have to admit that this is pretty remarkable.At least at first, Mrs. Patmore is that scary boss everyone’s had at least once. She isn’t even married, but they call her Mrs. anyway, just to show that she’s wed to the kitchen. She’s kind of grumpy and frumpy, but I can’t snark on Patmore’s hair because it’s exactly what mine looks like with no product or if I’m late for work. Yep, I’m definite downstairs material. Lesley Nicol in her 21st century gear reminds me that sometimes a little hair straightener goes a long way.