Rose Leslie on Utopia, those Downton Abbey rumours and leaving Game of Thrones

"I’ll always miss the furs and the bow and arrow"

You played housemaid Gwen on Downton. There are reports you might return – fact or phooey?


Phooey, because one, it’s not my call and two, we left my character in a very happy place, married, out of domestic service and living the life she always wanted.

You’ve just finished playing Ygritte in Game of Thrones. Was it a relief to take off the pelts?

It was very nice to have styled hair, not just greased up and tied back. But I’ll always miss the furs and the bow and arrow.

Do you get people coming up to you saying your catchphrase, “You know nothing, Jon Snow”? 

I do, it’s just an expression of how loved Game of Thrones is. I was having lunch with a girlfriend in London about a year ago and I was debating what I wanted on the menu. The waitress came up and I said, “I just don’t know.” She came out with “You know nothing” – deadpan. Her timing was perfect.

Did you watch your last scenes in Game of Thrones?

Yes. I watched it with a girlfriend and we decided to celebrate. So we had ice cream and champagne.

What programme can’t you miss?

I just finished a Breaking Bad marathon. I’m so late on it, I know. It only took me about five weeks, which is slightly appalling – a little window onto how boring my life is.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Oh gosh! I’m saying this quietly: Takeshi’s Castle. It’s on Challenge, it’s slapstick and gets me every time.

What makes you blub?

I cried so much watching the film I Am Sam that I ended up giving myself a bleeding nose.

What do you wake up to?

I love 6 Music; I always wake up and make breakfast to that. And to go to sleep I love the pianist Ludovico Einaudi. I’ve seen him several times live and I’m obsessed.

When did you last Google yourself?

I learnt a tough lesson a couple of years ago when I saw some nasty comments. You go down a negative spiral so after that I just thought, “I’m done with Googling myself.”

You’re in the new series of Utopia… but not for long!

I am playing a younger version of Geraldine James’s character. I was incredibly excited when I read the script because, as a massive fan of the show, I realised that this episode is a treat for the fans. You can see when and how the big conspiracy begins. It’s a standalone episode set in the 1970s. And then I’m done!

Your first TV crush?

I loved Colin Firth in the BBC Pride and Prejudice. Clichéd, I know, but I was about seven. I haven’t met him. I think I would go weak at the knees 


Utopia is on tonight at 10:00pm on Channel 4