Kevin Doyle is quite protective of his “Downton Abbey” character, valet/footman Joseph Molesley.
When The Post suggested that Molesley might be of a calmer nature and perhaps “grow a pair,” Doyle took issue.
“I disagree with that, really,” he said in a recent interview. “I know some people think that way of him but I think he has a really beautiful soul about him. The thing about him is that he has been failed a lot in his life.
“I think there’s been a lot of sadness in his life,” Doyle continued. “And what has been lovely over the years is especially to see her move away from that sadness and obviously have a character like Mrs. Baxter. [his love interest, played by Raquel Cassidy] helped him in that.
“So, I don’t agree. I think he has a pair – he’s not going to let them hang out!”
Doyle also said that Mosley “has been failed a lot in his life. I think he is clearly a wise man but was not able to use what he has because his life was predetermined.” A certain kind of career was expected of her and that’s what was going to happen. And she must have been a terrible disappointment. I think (producer) Julian Fellowes has discovered a lot in the show, especially in the TV series. “
And even though Molesley manages to break free of the shackles of his class in “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” that doesn’t mean Doyle thinks it’s possible for many in the UK, even now.
“I mean, people in Britain like to think you know society has changed a lot,” said the Lincolnshire-born actor. “But I’m a little more skeptical. I think it’s still kind of, in some ways, it’s still very class-oriented and probably will be that way for many years.”
The “Happy Valley” actor, 62, said it was very unusual for British actors to play the same character for long periods of time as the crew of “Downton Abbey”, a series that spanned six seasons starting in 2010. And now it includes two movies.
He admitted that by the time the show ended, the actors were “getting quite relentless” at it, but the three-year break between films has fueled his appetite for the social intricacies of England in the flapper era.
The new film takes place partly in the south of France.
So does Doyle have his own luxurious villa bought with his “Downton Abbey” check?
“Yeah, and it’s huge!” He chuckled.
“Downton Abbey: A New Era” is in theaters May 20 and will be streaming on Peacock 45 days later.