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Downton Abbey's Thomas Appears Ready for His Queer Close-Up in New Trailer

Downton Abbey's Thomas Appears Ready for His Queer Close-Up in New Trailer

Rob James Collier
Focus Features

The Crawley family goes Hollywood in the second film of the beloved series out this spring.

All of the faves are back for Focus Features' Downton Abbey: A New Era, the latest film born out of the beloved BBC series Downton Abbey. Michelle Dockery's Lady Mary continues to exude her signature ennui while Dame Maggie Smith's Violet Crawley doles out the familiar bon mots. The trailer for the new film, which drops in theaters on May 20, sees Downton's inhabitants welcoming a movie crew for a Hollywood film starring a dashing character played by Dominic West. Meanwhile, Violet reveals she once had a secret romance that has led her to become the owner of a villa in the South of France.

Blink and you miss it in the trailer, but gay valet Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) appears to have a moment with West's character. After several seasons of heartbreak and anguish for the once-nefarious footman, Thomas found his way to a gay bar and enjoyed a little romance in the 2019 Downton Abbey film.

"He wasn't aware of this entire world, this entire culture behind closed doors where there were like-minded gay men who were free and dancing together, kissing each other, and literally just allowed to be themselves and create this unique world hidden, but in direct view," James-Collier told The Advocate about the scene in a 2019 interview.

"I really find a sense of childlike awe in that scene with Thomas. If you can imagine a child on Christmas Day, he's like, Wow, I can't believe this world exists," James-Collier continued.

"The sense of relief it must have given someone like Thomas to go, Wow, there are others like me. There is a world where I can escape to, and explore, and be free," he said. "It's very heartwarming."

"As Thomas has begun to understand himself, so has the audience. The move shifted from a pattern of not liking/hating him to empathizing with him. That grew into sympathy," he added.

"They [fans] love Thomas now, and they root for him. They just want him to be happy because they're like, I get it. It must have been horrendous to not be able to love and be free in a time to be yourself. Who should deny that most basic of human rights?" he said.

Here's looking forward to what Downton (and HBO's The Gilded Age) creator Julian Fellowes has in store for Thomas in the upcoming film.

Watch the trailer below and check out Downton Abbey: A New Era in theaters May 20.

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