All News & Blogs
Lesley Nicol plays sassy and sweet cook Mrs. Patmore on 'Downtown Abbey.'
JOSS BARRATT /CARNIVAL FILM & TELEVISION LIMITED
Visit the Photo Place
By Judy Hevrdejs
Actress Lesley Nicol was in Chicago for a few days, minus the white apron she wears in the kitchen of PBS' "Downton Abbey."
She was here to bring the story of legendary English pianist Myra Hess to the Chicago Cultural Center.
The U.S. premiere of the theatrical production "Admission: One Shilling" with pianist Inna Faliks is being held in the hall where the free lunchtime Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts are presented by Chicago's International Music Foundation. The Chicago performance is a break from a three-month stint living with her husband on the West Coast, where Nicol was surprised at the number of people who recognized her (even at Costco). While there, she added her voice to those of Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson for an animated film ("Turkeys") and headed to Vancouver to film a bit for ABC's "Once Upon a Time."
And while Nicol doesn't consider herself a cook (Hello? Does "The Good Wife" Julianna Margulies practice law in her spare time?), she does appreciate the Downton pros around her who keep the whisk and kettle action true.
How else would the culinary disaster of a broken hollandaise be saved by a yolk in Season 3?
We caught up with Nicol before she headed back to her West London home and the February filming of "Downton Abbey's" Season 4.
The following is an edited transcript:
;"> So Alastair Bruce, the historical adviser to the show, does he find stuff wrong in the kitchen?
He's very strict. It's as simple as this: In (this) season, we've got more people in the kitchen because there are more kids around now that the war's over, and there was a thing where the director said, "So, I think Mrs. Patmore comes in with Daisy, and she's got a tray " and Alastair goes, "No!" And we go, "No? No tray?" And he says no, because now we have plenty of staff back, and Mrs. Patmore does not carry the tray. And you won't find her doing the menial tasks in the kitchen because she doesn't have to. Her job is Gordon Ramsay. She's seasoning, she's checking, she's making sure everything is up to speed like a proper chef. He's always looking for detail like that.
;">Alastair covers people's behavior, who does what, that sort of thing. What about the food?