Last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the host invited cast members of Downton Abbey onto the show, and explained that one of the things that’s likely so appealing to American audiences is its heavy Britishness.
Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Talbot and formerly Lady Mary Crawley), Hugh Bonneville (Robert Crawley), and Allen Leech (Tom Branson) demonstrated — at Colbert’s request — what the show would be like if Americans didn’t project notions of “fairy tale” foreignness onto it. Colbert passed out cards — with excerpts of dialogue printed on them — to each member of the cast and asked them to try it out with American accents. The host asserted that he was mostly trying to bring our notions of the show down to earth, to see it for what it is without exoticizing it.
Really, though, it seemed like sabotage. “We’ll see if you still like us,” said Dockery, looking quite hesitant before jumping in.