Kevin Doyle is quite protective of his “Downton Abbey” character, valet/footman Joseph Molesley.
When The Post suggested that Molesley could be a tad tepid and perhaps “grow a pair,” Doyle took issue.
“I disagree with that, actually,” he said in a recent interview. “I know some people sort of think that way about him but I think he’s got a really beautiful spirit about him. The thing about him is that he has been thwarting a lot in his life.
“He’s had a lot of sadness in his life, I think,” Doyle continued. “And what’s been lovely in the last few years, especially is seeing him move away from that sadness and obviously characters like Mrs. Baxter [his love interest, played by Raquel Cassidy] helped him with that.
“So, I don’t agree. I think he has a pair — he’s not been able to let them hang!”
Doyle also noted that Molesley has been “thwarted a lot in his life. I think he’s clearly an intelligent man but was never able to use what he has because his life was predetermined. He was expected to have a certain kind of career and that was going to be it. And that must have been a terrible frustration. I think (creator) Julian Fellowes explores that a lot in the show, especially the TV series.”
And even though Molesley manages to break free from the shackles of his class in “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” that doesn’t mean Doyle thinks it’s possible for many in the UK, even now.
“I mean, people like to think in Britain that it’s, you know, society’s changed a lot,” the Lincolnshire-born actor said. “But I’m a little bit more skeptical. I think it’s still very sort of, in some ways, it’s still very class-bound and probably will remain so. For a number of years.”
The “Happy Valley” actor, 62, noted that it’s very unusual for British actors to play the same character for as long as the crew of “Downton Abbey,” a series that has spanned six seasons starting in 2010 and now includes two movies.
He admitted that by the time the show ended, the actors were finding it “becoming fairly relentless,” but the three-year break between movies has whetted their appetites for the social intricacies of England in the flapper age.
The new film takes place partly in the South of France.
So does Doyle have bought his own sumptuous villa with his “Downton Abbey” checks?
“Yes, and it’s huge!” hey quipped.
“Downton Abbey: A New Era” is out May 18 in theaters and streaming on Peacock 45 days later.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/19/downton-abbey-star-kevin-doyle-stands-up-for-sad-character-he-has-a-pair/ ‘Downton Abbey’ star Kevin Doyle stands up for ‘sad’ character: ‘He has a pair!’