Downton Abbey film: Sussex brothers attend world premiere alongside star cast
Two brothers from Ashington took to the red carpet along with the rest of the stars of Downton Abbey for the world premiere of the movie version.
Zac and Oliver Barker attended the event in London on Monday, September 9, with their parents Clare and Damian, and triplet sister, Megan and rubbed shoulders with the likes of Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery.
The nine-year-olds have reprised their shared role of Master George Crawley for the film which hits UK cinemas on Friday, September 13.
Oliver said: “Going to the world premiere was brilliant. We got to walk down the red carpet and lots of people were shouting our names. I really hope there will be another film.”
Zac said: “It was really good fun to film Downton with all our friends again. We really liked our new clothes and the best day was filming with the horses.”
The brothers got the call about starring in the Downton Abbey film in August last year following the television series which finished in 2015.
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Mum Clare said: “It was emotional bidding farewell to the cast who we had become good friends with over the years.
“Since Downton, Oliver and Zac have been concentrating on school and only really attending castings during school holidays; but we always said that if a Downton movie were to happen we would love the boys to be involved.
“Luckily, the boys have a fantastic agent, and along with the school and the local education authority; time off school was authorised.
“There was a tutor on set, so they did not miss out on any school work - and how many children can say they were tutored in the grounds of Highclere Castle!”
Over its six seasons, the Downton Abbey series garnered three Golden Globe Awards, 15 Primetime Emmy Awards, a Special BAFTA award and 69 Emmy nominations in total, making it the most nominated non-US television show in the history of the Emmys – even earning a Guinness World Record for the highest critically rated TV show along the way.
Clare said: “The movie version was on a whole other level - the costumes, sets and budget was all on a huge scale.
“The first day on set was like meeting up with old friends again - all the cast and crew are so friendly and welcoming. There were a few new faces - but you’ll have to wait until the film comes out to see who! “The boys did the majority of their filming days at Highclere Castle, and there was a few days in the village of Lacock which was great fun.
“Oliver and Zac did get their names shouted by a few members of the public when filming there; but they couldn’t understand how people knew their names!”
Zac and Oliver are now looking forward to attending a special screening on the film at the new Everyman cinema in Horsham on Saturday, September 14.
There will be a drinks and canapes reception from 6pm followed by a screening of the film from 6.55pm. Staff will be dressed for the occasion and, although not required, customers are encouraged also.
Clare said: “It’ll be a lovely opportunity to get the boys dressed up again for this.
“Oliver and Zac, along with their triplet sister Megan; love going to the cinema; so it is a great chance to support our ‘new local’!”
As there is a huge Downton fan-base all over the world, Clare tries to keep people updated through her Instagram page @barkertriplets, but she hasn’t been allowed to give anything away about the movie plot.