Downton Abbey's Kevin Doyle Says Theresa May Inspired Film's Most Awkward Moment

The actor also said he's "channelling a bit of Boris" during the film's uncomfortable scene.

Downton Abbey star Kevin Doyle has revealed how former prime minister Theresa May inspired the film’s most awkward exchange.

The actor recently reprised his role as Mr Molesley in the big-screen version of the ITV drama, whose dream comes true when he’s given the opportunity to serve the king and queen at Downton.

Kevin Doyle
Kevin Doyle
Jeff Spicer via Getty Images

However, things don’t go too well for Molesley, and after realising he’s spoken out of turn, he finds himself doing a toe-curling half-curtsy for the monarchs, before scuttling off downstairs.

Speaking to the PA news agency at the film’s London premiere, Kevin revealed how the former PM was the unlikely source of inspiration for the uncomfortable scene.

Kevin in character as Molesley during Downton's original run on ITV
Kevin in character as Molesley during Downton's original run on ITV

“I have got this memory of her doing this really awkward curtsy to the royals once,” he recalled. “Julian [Fellowes, who created Downton Abbey and wrote the new film] described this awkward bow-cum-curtsy and I immediately thought of that photograph of Theresa May, so I thought ‘I will have that’.”

Kevin said he was also channelling “a bit of Boris as well”, adding: “I knew it was going to be a very important scene and it had the potential to be funny so it was all building up to that moment.

“I didn’t want to screw it up in front of all of those extraordinary actors so it was probably one of the most terrifying days of my career, and one of the most enjoyable at the same time, if you can imagine that. I was very glad when it was over.”

Theresa May greets Prince William in 2018
Theresa May greets Prince William in 2018
PA Archive/PA Images

The Downton Abbey film hits UK cinemas later this week, four years after we last checked in on the wealthy Crawley family and their eclectic bunch of staff.

Downton’s whole principal cast has returned for the film adaptation, with Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James, Simon Jones and Tuppence Middleton among the new additions.

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