Hugh Bonneville missed out on Star Wars role

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 11 September 2014
Hugh Bonneville

Hugh Bonneville

Hugh Bonneville claims he missed out on a role in 'Star Wars: Episode VII' because he was absent when the film's director J.J. Abrams made a visit to the set of his hit drama 'Downton Abbey'

'Downton Abbey' star Hugh Bonneville claims he could've been cast in 'Star Wars: Episode VII'.

The 50-year-old actor - who stars as the Earl of Grantham in the series - has revealed how J.J. Abrams, who is directing the latest instalment of the sci-fi franchise, visited the set of the ITV period drama one day when he was absent, meaning he missed out on being scouted for a role in the upcoming film.

He told the Daily Star newspaper: "It's awesome when the likes of J.J. Abrams drop in on set. Sadly I wasn't there that day. If I had been I might have been in 'Star Wars'."

Hugh and his co-star Lily James - who plays Lady Rose in the series which counts famous faces such as Sandra Bullock, Salma Hayek and Ashton Kutcher as fans - have confessed they found themselves starstruck while filming scenes for the Downton Christmas special at Alnwick Castle, which is used as Hogwarts in the 'Harry Potter' films.

Lily said: "I saw a Harry Potter double there. He not only looked like him he sounded like him too."

Hugh added: "We were all a bit starstruck. I went on a Mysterious Cellar Tour and got the bejeezus frightened out of me."

Meanwhile, Hugh's 'The Monuments Men' co-star George Clooney - who is also a fan series - is set to make a one-off appearance in the hit drama as part of this year's 'Text Santa' charity appeal on ITV.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

  • 5 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 2h 16min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: JJ Abrams
  • Written by: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt
  • Cast: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker
  • UK release: 17 December 2015

From the ashes of the Empire, the villainous First Order rises up to destroy Luke Skywalker (Hamill) – but where is he? Fans can rejoice: Episode VII is sensational and surprisingly emotional, with a finely-crafted script and effects that never overpower the performances. Star Wars is back in a big way.

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