Hugh Dancy admits Downton Abbey: A New Era set felt 'surreal'

Hugh Dancy admits Downton Abbey: A New Era set felt 'surreal'

Hugh Dancy admits it was "surreal" stepping onto the 'Downton Abbey: A New Era' set.

The 46-year-old actor - who plays fictional film director Jack Barber in the big screen sequel - insisted while he didn't feel strange joining a long-term cast, the situation as a whole was "surreal" for everyone.

Speaking to, he said: "It was lovely! It wasn't surreal - I know what you mean.

"It was surreal a bit as it was for everybody because this was made slap bang in the middle of COVID and we'd all really been in full lockdown, and suddenly here we all were together in a room with people.

"Some of them I knew from before, some of them I didn't. I suppose the question was, 'Are they gonna be nice to me?' It was easy!"

Dancy praised the atmosphere on set too, and noted he could instantly tell it was a happy crew, which has been passed down "right from the top".

He added: "I was thrilled, I was really happy to be coming in doing this part. You still don't know - it's funny, I think that with anything like this, the tone of it is set right from the top and you could tell as soon as you walked in that everyone was having a good time."

The 'Hannibal' actor was asked about any potential initiations for newcomers on set, and Michell Dockery - who has played Lady Mary Talbot since the period drama first launched as an ITV series in 2010 - joked they came up with a musical task.

She quipped: "We made him sing the theme tune for Downton Abbey and make up his own words and score them."

Dancy teased: "And it's in the movie!"