Rob James-Collier's Downton Abbey abuse

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 15 September 2013
Downton Abbey cast

Rob James-Collier and the Downton Abbey ladies

Rob James-Collier insists he got more abuse in the street when his 'Downton Abbey' character, butler Thomas Barrow, was nice in the period drama than when he was nasty

Rob James-Collier got more abuse when his 'Downton Abbey' character was nice than when he was nasty.

The 36-year-old actor plays no-nonsense butler Thomas Barrow in the ITV period drama and often gets spotted in the street as a result, but he was shocked when fans of the show gave him a hard time when his alter-ego was being uncharacteristically pleasant on the programme.

He told BANG Showbiz: "I get recognised a lot, everyone always thinks I'm Phil Mitchell. Only joking. I get recognised a little bit but less so with a skinhead.

"People love the show and if you're a villain or a good guy in the show they don't care they just love the show and you're in it so they love you. You're part of that product.

"It's all friendly banter. They love him.

"When I went nice for a bit people were abusing me for being nice. I got more stick for being nice because they liked him being nasty so you can't win."

While the former 'Coronation Street' star - who played Liam Connor in the ITV soap - insists 'Downton' hasn't changed his life, he is grateful to the programme for giving him a job in the recession.

He added: "It's just a TV show. It's enabled me to get a mortgage and in fact pay the mortgage.

"A lot of people are struggling in a recession. It's hard enough as an actor anyway and to be working in a recession is a privilege and it's given me a bit of security.

"I wouldn't say it's changed my life but it's given me a lot more opportunities in life."

He then joked: "It's given me, potentially, a platform to show my limited range off."

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