‘Downton’ star on ‘Viceroy’s House’ role similarities: ‘Same performance, different costume’

Hugh Bonneville has described his role in Viceroy’s House as “pretty similar” to his character in Downton Abbey.

The English actor, best known for playing Downton‘s Robert Crawley in all six seasons of the hit period drama, stars as the final Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, in his new movie.

Directed by Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), the British-Indian historical drama (in cinemas now) is set in 1947 during the Partition of India.

Bonneville has been chatting to Town & Country about what attracted him to the movie: “Well, I read specifically about Mountbatten, specifically about the point of view—and the one thing I came away feeling, is that there’s no objective history. And often you could tell simply from the surname of the author of the book what their viewpoint was going to be.

“Every angle or political point of view is going to be somehow slanting a story. And no one comes out of it smelling of roses.”

Asked is there were any similarities between his roles in Downton and Viceroy’s House, the actor recalled: “Well, put it this way, I finished filming Downton Abbey on a Friday and I started filming for the Viceroy’s House on Monday, so it was pretty similar.”

He joked: “Same performance, different costume.”

Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection is available to buy now.

The Downton Abbey movie is expected to start filming early next year.