Hugh is also a big prankster but Hugh does something in scenes that absolutely throws you where he’ll walk up to you and say, “Of course in Downton,” and then he’ll say this word means something else. And he came up to me in one scene and he said, “Of course in Downton, politics means nipples,” and he walked away. And I was like, “What? I don’t-- what?” And then we said, “And action.” And he walks up to me and he goes, “Branson, Sybil tells me your politics are hardening.”
So that was the end of that day of filming for me. So Downtonisms has become a great a game, at the dinner table especially.
Jace: Speaking of mischief: True or false, did you once drunkenly break into Highclere Castle after a night out with Rob James Collier?
Allen: There’s a couple of disclaimers here. I may have got very drunk on a cider called Old Rosy, which is 7%. And as myself and Rob say, “Old Rosie’s a cruel mistress.”
I left Rob’s hotel and got in a car to go back to mine but it was a terrible foggy night. The taxi dropped me off at my hotel which was all closed up because I had forgotten to check in. So in my wonderfully inebriated wisdom, I thought I would walk back to Highclere and sleep in my trailer. It was a 2 and a half hour walk in the fog. I had to climb the gates and I turned into MacGyver; I used my bag anyway as some kind of footrest, got over...I did. So I technically broke into the grounds, I did not break into the house, and I slept in one of the trailers. It was-- By the time I got there I think it was about 5 AM and we were on set at 7:30. So I didn’t look my best that day. I gave hair and makeup a bit of a challenge. And Rob James Collier, it’s his fault because he refused to wake up, he didn’t answer his phone and if he had I could have gone back to his hotel and had a good night’s sleep. So, yeah, it’s actually all Rob’s fault.
Jace: It usually is Thomas’ fault.
Allen: It is! It is! Yeah. Rob is very, very mischievous.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
PBS reveals Lord Grantham's Downton Abbey codeword for Tom's nipples
podcast in which Allen Leech (Tom Branson) talks about fellow prankster Hugh Bonneville, who plays Lord Grantham: