Earlier this year we learned that Downtown Abbey has cast a new leading man for the upcoming 4th season of the series but today we learn that another, more interesting casting choice has been made as well. Those of you who are familiar with the British TV drama know that the show features only Caucasian characters … that is, until now. Downton creator Gareth Neame has revealed that the show has cast its first Black actor who will bring, he says, “interesting twists” to the story. I say, it’s about damn time.
Downton Abbey executive producer Gareth Neame said today that Gary Carr‘s addition to the ITV show “will bring interesting twists to the drama.” The actor has most recently been seen in BBC series Bluestone 42 and Death In Paradise. His Downton character, Jack Ross, is a jazz singer described as “a charming and charismatic” young man. The addition marks the first time Downton has had a black character. The show has in the past faced criticism that it lacks cultural diversity. In the fourth season, he’ll join previously announced new cast members Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Nigel Harman, Joanna David and Dame Harriet Walter. Shooting is currently underway for air later this year. Carr is repped by Markham, Froggatt and Irwin in London.
This is great news for a show that I enjoy very much. I, too, have felt that the show was far too lacking in cultural diversity so I approve of this casting. I’m really hoping that Carr’s addition to the show will be meaningful to the story, rather than just getting tossed in as a token character. Might one of the current Downton characters find romance with this new jazz singer? Oh man, I hope so. I would LOVE to see the Dowager Countess get her freak on for a change :)