This is a Twitter photo from May of this year – JJ Abrams taking a set tour of Downton Abbey and getting threatened by loveable Mrs. Hughes. And yes, that is THE JJ Abrams. The producer/director/writer responsible for Alias, Fringe, Lost, Felicity, the Star Trek reboot, and as of late, he’s in charge of the Star Wars sequels. He’s very sci-fi, very spy-gadgets and supernatural and space stuff. But, as it turns out, JJ Abrams is a MAJOR Downton Abbey nerd. He was interviewed by Metro UK this week, and in between discussing his work on the Star Trek franchise and his future work on Star Wars, JJ discussed his love of all things Downton. See? DUDES WATCH IT TOO.
Metro: You visited the set of Downton Abbey. What do you like about it?
JJ: It’s absolute soap opera done triple-A plus. The characters go places you never expect and the rules of that society allow for wonderful storytelling because there is behaviour that’s forbidden, which barely exists any more. It’s cleverly written and brilliantly cast. It lets you enjoy what is, at the core, a pulpy family drama but done with such respect and regard for the characters, you feel they’re all alive. And think of how many there are – I thought we had a lot of characters on Lost but it’s amazing they’re able to spin that many plates and make you feel for them all.
Metro: Would it benefit from added lens flare?
JJ: That’s the only thing it’s lacking – an enormous amount of lights directed into the camera. That would improve the show at least ten times.
I love him a little for joking about his overuse of lens flare (it IS excessive). But how cute is it that he’s all about Downton? I was feeling so guilty for my subdued excitement about seeing the new season (and no, I haven’t watched the pirated copies yet, I’m waiting for it to air on PBS), but now I don’t feel guilty. The soap opera thing is how I always justify watching Downton to myself and to other people – like, if I outright acknowledge that it’s just a soap opera with great costumes, somehow that means that it’s okay to watch it because I’m not treating it like a “real” drama. Sigh… okay, now I’m totally excited to see who Black Widow Crawley kills (with her vagina of doom) next. I’m also looking forward to seeing how much she hates her baby. It’s going to be amazing.
Photos courtesy of WENN.