Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt Defends *That* Shocking Storyline

It's been days since we saw poor Anna Bates get attacked in episode three of Downton Abbey and everyone's STILL talking about it. Here's what Joanne says...

Downton Abbey‘s Joanne Froggatt has defend the shocking rape storyline on Sunday night’s episode of the period drama, telling BBC News the cast felt like they had a ‘responsibility’.

The episode which saw guest servant Green attack Anna Bates in the kitchen – while the rest of the housemaids, staff, and Grantham family dined upstairs – has received mixed reviews from viewers, with some deeming the storyline ‘inappropriate’ for Sunday night viewing.

Most however, have praised Joanne Froggatt’s portrayal of Anna Bates’ ordeal, even calling for her to be nominated for an Emmy Award.

Breaking her silence on the episode, she says: ‘The executive did actually give me a heads up of what was going to happen about a week before I got the script, so obviously as an actress I was really pleased and also I was really proud of the show for tackling a subject like this, because I think it’s a brave thing to do.

‘I really do believe that Julian [Fellowes, the show’s creator and writer] has written that in a way that’s not gratuitous at all. He does very much go into exploring the emotional journey of Anna and Bates after this event and I think he’s done a really beautiful job of hitting the right note with it. We all just felt a big responsibility to get it right.’

A preview clip from next week’s show shows Anna struggling to come to terms with the ordeal, as the Lady’s maid is forced to keep her attack a secret.

She adds: ‘Julian was adamant that we wouldn’t depict that kind of violence against a woman on a screen in a show that he’s a part of and that’s an incredible thing in this industry in this day and age. The shock value was there without having to depict anything graphic.’

Nigel Harman, who made a cameo as Anna’s attacker, Green, told ITV’s This Morning this week that Joanne’s acting was ‘phenomenal’, saying: ‘It was a shocking and bold storyline, and something that when I was sent the script and read it I was, like, amazed and excited by it, if that makes sense, because for a show like Downton it really leaped out as a bold and risky idea.’

What did you think? Let us know in the comments box below… 

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