Downton Abbey has collected a fair few famous friends over the years. Anjelica Huston, Matt Damon, Salma Hayek and more have publicly declared a desire to grace Highclere Castle’s corridors. Heck, any TV series that can attract the likes of Shirley MacLaine clearly has plenty of pulling power.
But for those stars not lucky enough to don their finery or role up their sleeves in a guest role, a visit to the famous Abbey is the next best thing. That was certainly the case for Hollywood A-listers Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis who Michelle Dockery has revealed couldn’t resist paying a visit to the fictional Crawley family when they were in the UK.
But they aren’t the first to be introduced to the famous set of the ITV drama. In fact, the guest book is no doubt looking pretty chock-a-block after visits from all these famous folk…
George Clooney and his fiancé Amal Alamuddin sparked rumours they were to wed at Highclere Castle when they were spotted on set back in May. It’s believed George’s Monuments Men co-star Hugh Bonneville helped score him the invite – although any fans hoping to catch a glimpse of his upcoming nuptials will have to travel a little further afield to Venice where the pair are now reported to be marrying this month.
Star Trek and Star Wars director JJ Abrams surprised us all when he revealed he is a huge fan of the ITV period drama. Perhaps he was seeking inspiration when he stopped by the Abbey kitchens last year and showed Mrs Hughes a thing or two? Star Trek into Downton, anyone?
The Honourable Woman star Maggie Gyllenhaal admitted she was a massive fan of Downton Abbey last June, even proposing her own guest role as the American sister who is pregnant by “the sexy guy who had a fling with Lady Rose.” And while Fellowes is yet to take the bait, the Hollywood star did enjoy a stroke of luck when she discovered Mr and Mrs Bates filming next door to her at Ealing Studios last year.
As sister to the Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa Middleton is no stranger to lavish settings and plummy accents. So, she must have felt right at home when she came face-to-face with the Grantham family a few years ago. She, her parents and brother James got their invite through the series’ historical advisor Alastair Bruce – also Sky’s royal commentator – who is a friend of the family. And apparently Wills and Kate are fans, too – maybe a stately visit is in order?
Downton Abbey returns to ITV at 9pm on Sunday 21st September. Watch the trailer below…