Rob James-Collier: I love being Downton Abbey’s bad boy

The 36-year-old star has said "it's great" playing a dark and devious character in the hit ITV drama


He’s Downton Abbey’s most manipulative staff member. Often found skulking around the Abbey’s corridors, listening in on conversations or spreading rumours around the kitchen, under butler Thomas Barrow is one man you don’t want to get on the wrong side of. 


And it seems Rob James-Collier, the man who plays him, is a fan of being being Downton’s dark and troubled character. 

“I love it,” he said to at the launch of the show’s fourth series. “It’s great. The devil’s got better tunes, hasn’t he?”

“I think the bad guys are more interesting. It’s dull being nice!” he continued. “And, you know, we got to see why he was such a guy bad last year… [It] was good to play that side to him as well.”

It’s a good job Rob enjoys acting deviously. Now Siobhan Finneran, who played Thomas’ partner-in-crime O’Brien, has left the show, he’s holding the bad guy fort all on his own…

Downton Abbey returns to ITV on 22 September.