Words matter. These are the best Julian Fellowes Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
What you have to understand about period drama is that it’s ‘history light.’
I think America has dealt with – I mean, this is simplistic, and of course I don’t live in America – but the impression I get is that there is not a kind of obligation to dislike those who are better off or be frightened of those who are worse off.
Most of the soap operas always use the Christmas special to kill huge quantities of their characters. So they have trams coming off their rails, or cars slamming into each other or burning buildings. It’s a general clean-out.
I’m seen as a chronicler of the class system, which I don’t think is unfair.
If you’re supposed to be a ‘personality,’ then you might as well have a personality.
What I dislike about movie culture is that it often presents a parable of our problems – but the issues are all straightforward and the people are either nice or they’re not. In real life, everyone falls between those perimeters, but not many American films operate in that grey area.
A lot of actors find it impossible not to ask for the audience’s sympathy. They have a need to twinkle.
To be honest, when you’re running a series and you have an open end, you don’t want to limit yourself too much with the choices you’ve got for a particular character.
I always loved movies and the cinema; we always used to go to see films as a family.
My parents came from different backgrounds. My father’s was grander than my mother’s, so my mother had… to put up with the disapproval of my father’s relations.
I envy people who can think, ‘No, I’m not going to work today’ when they have a huge pile of deadlines stacking up.
There are some men who are frightened by strong women and some men who are nurtured by them and feel nervous, with weak clinging vines. And I am very much of the latter category.
What the Americans want to see is life in their drama. Life of all sorts: hard lives, easy lives, or lives which, like most of ours, are a mixture of the two.
To me, all success is a delightful surprise, since one can absolutely never predict it.
The ’20s are a very interesting period to me.
I always like to arrive at the airport early to enjoy breakfast and lounge about so that when I get on the plane all my travel fever has disappeared.
You see, in America, it’s quite standard for an actor to sign, at the beginning of a series, for five or seven years. The maximum any British agent will allow you to have over an actor is three years.
I like people who don’t accept boundaries. Like Florence Nightingale. And Napoleon or Louis XIV, though I’m not sure how much I’d have liked to meet them. I admire people who aren’t circumscribed by circumstance.
Well, you’ve got to be known for something. The danger of extreme versatility is that you don’t spring to mind for anything.
Nothing is harder to dramatize than happiness.
One of the things that you’re not really in control of – apart from everything – is your smell.
We live a life that is often spent in crowds – parties, festivals and first nights – so it’s nice to avoid them.
I mean the truth is, I’ve always been interested in the whole setup of the Old World.
The great houses of Britain have, for centuries, been the guardians of much of our history, not just of the families who built and lived in them, but of the people who worked there, of the local area, of all of us.
I think American television changed world television in its reinvention of the series.
People tend to view history as if it were another planet and think the modern world was invented in 1963. I don’t agree.
Although ‘L.A. Confidential’ is a long movie, there’s never a moment when you think, ‘I’m loving this… but when’s dinner?’ Each time I see it, I discover something I hadn’t noticed before. It has a tremendous skill in developing all the subplots.
If you are lucky, you have your moment. But it is never more than a moment. You have to enjoy it while it lasts.
I don’t think I’m an unkind person, I don’t think my books are unkind, and I don’t think my readers are unkind.
The moment I was introduced to my wife, Emma, at a party I thought, here she is – and 20 minutes later I told her she ought to marry me. She thought I was as mad as a rat. She wouldn’t even give me her telephone number – and she wrote in her diary: ‘A funny little man asked me to marry him.’
The English country house is certainly an icon of British culture.
In the end, drama is successful if you care about the people.
You know, I’m not a revolutionary.
I don’t seem to have ever had a plan, but I have always been quite good at walking through doors when they are opened. I am never any good at anticipating what will happen next, but I always go for it when it does.
There isn’t much point in the whole ‘celebrity’ nonsense unless one is prepared to go out on a limb and, one hopes, speak up for some under-represented section of the community.