‘Downton Abbey: The Movie’ a ‘definite possibilty’, says cast member

Actress Raquel Cassidy says discussions have already taken place

A Downton Abbey spin-off film is “a definite possibility”, says one of the show’s cast members.

Raquel Cassidy – who plays Lady Grantham’s maid Phyllis Baxter in the ITV period soap – also revealed that discussions about a possible big screen outing for the Grantham family and their household of staff members have already taken place.

“There have been talks and there is definitely a possibility of a Downton film,” she told the Daily Mirror. ”There is real hope. It’s been mentioned more than once and there’s a lot of commercial and artistic interest. Stranger things have happened, so watch this space.”

Cassidy also shed some light on working with the show’s most celebrated cast member, two-time Oscar-winning actress Dame Maggie Smith, who has received Golden Globe and Emmy awards for her performance as the sharp-tongued Dowager Countess.

“She is a genuine grand dame of the industry and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She can’t stand people who approach her all nervous and intimidated – that immediately gets her back up,” Cassidy explained. “She wants you to operate on her level or not at all. Then again, if you’re like that she probably won’t even notice you. At the same time she’s very talented and also game for a laugh if she thinks you’re worth it.

“She’s intimidating if you’re easily frightened,” Cassidy admitted. “Actors need a thick skin – especially in the presence of ­somebody as iconic as her.”

Downton Abbey will return to ITV for a Christmas Special on December 25, before shooting begins on its sixth series early next year. George Clooney recently guest-starred in a special mini-episode of the show aired as part of ITV’s Text Santa campaign.