Gay Butler Thomas Barrow Gets His Own “Downton Abbey” Movie Poster

Rob James-Collier has complained that playing the manservant hurt his career.

The bitch is back.

The Emmy-winning British TV series Downton Abbey is being capped off with a feature film starring the show’s original principal cast, including Rob James-Collier as villainous gay butler Thomas Barrow.

The period drama followed the lives of the fictional Crawley family and their servants in an Edwardian English country home at the turn of the 20th century. The ITV series, which subsequently aired on PBS in the United States, ran for six seasons from 2010 to 2015.

Julian Fellowes, the show’s creator, wrote the upcoming film’s screenplay with Michael Engler directing. “Julian’s script charms, thrills, and entertains,” said co-producer Gareth Neame in a previous statement.

Barrow, polishing a crystal glass, is prominently featured in one of four newly released film posters. The other posters feature Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary, Laura Carmichael as Edith, and Michael C. Fox as footman Andy. The tagline: “We’ve been expecting you.”

Barrow’s sexuality might’ve been the worst kept secret at Downton. Over the course of the series, the scheming manservant, who had a habit of falling for straight guys, underwent gay conversion treatment and attempted suicide. In the series finale, which aired March 2016 in the U.S., he was recommended to take over as head butler of the estate.

James-Collier, 42, made headlines in 2017 when he complained that playing Barrow hurt his Hollywood career.

“I think audiences in the U.S. can identify quite easily with the quintessential English gent and English lady, whereas a neurotic, dark, gay character like Thomas is a hard thing to put into the American market,” James-Collier told Radio Times. It can lead to typecasting.”

ITV

“Because Thomas Barrow is gay and is, essentially, the bad guy for much of the show, a lot of people within the industry can only see you as that,” he continued, adding that he has turned down gay stage roles. “They might not be in a rush to see you as a heterosexual love interest. That takes time.”

Since Downton, James-Collier has most notably starred in the British crime series The Level and the horror film The Ritual.

Downton Abbey is in theaters September 20.
 

Celebrity interviewer. Foodie and Broadway buff in Manhattan. Hates writing bios.
@brandonvoss