Rob James-Collier, who plays Thomas, the closeted gay under butler on the massively popular British drama “Downton Abbey,” thinks Americans and Brits alike should take a little bit of advice from a late member of The Beatles when it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage.
When we spoke to James-Collier on the red carpet at a recent “Downton Abbey” event held at the TV Academy and sponsored by Ciroc, we asked about his thoughts on the ongoing gay marriage debate in the United States.
“I can’t believe it’s still a controversy, do you know what I mean,” James-Collier tells Zap2it. “We’ve come a long way. But obviously not long enough, for it to even be talked about as a controversy. I think it’s just, people are in love with each other, let them marry. Like John Lennon said, ‘Whatever gets you through the night.'”
James-Collier also remarks on the way the issue is being handled in his native United Kingdom. “[David] Cameron’s (the UK’s Prime Minister) brought it up, and a few of the Members of Parliament are kicking off about it,” he says. “But for me … I just don’t understand what the problem is.”
At the subsequent panel discussion, “Downton Abbey” writer and creator, Julian Fellowes, remarked on the significance of James-Collier’s portrayal of a homosexual in the Edwardian era. “He’s angry, really, that he can’t live his life without running the risk of being either insulted at best, or imprisoned at worst,” Fellowes says of Thomas. “And that’s an enormous thing.”
Fellowes continues, “It was a crime when I was a child … and you could go to prison. I hope we have made that clear to a generation that doesn’t really understand how recent it all was changed.”