WOW. Can we just say it; how gorgeous is Downton Abbey’s Anna (Joanne Froggatt) looking on this particular Monday morning? Last week, with Lady Edith, we photographed an upstairs character in a downstairs situation, and this week we did the opposite. We’re evolving, stepping into a newer more modern age, which is the theme of the show this season, so yeah, we’re pretty on the nose.
Anna may be in a tight spot at the abbey this season, but she was quite relaxed when we shot her in Ladurée’s gorgeous SoHo tearoom. We ate towers of pastry, had tea, gabbed about Mr. Bates, traded looks about Thomas, and held ourselves back from asking to braid Froggatt’s platinum blonde hair (which we never get to see out!). The point is, we can officially say we have another new girl crush. Wow that’s like, three this week already…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
My ideal food day would be a yogurt and banana smoothie with seeds for breakfast, sushi for lunch, and a kale salad with roasted root vegetables, beetroot, and goat cheese for dinner with some dark chocolate for a treat.
How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
I try to eat healthily. I drink plenty of water and try to drink vegetable juices and/or eat plenty of vegetables. Like most people, I have good days and bad days. If I’m busy or traveling, it’s sometimes hard to eat the right things, but I do feel better when I’m getting lots of vitamins and nutrients in my diet. I go to the gym on average three times a week and if I’m tired, I get an early night. I think we all struggle with the work life balance no matter what the job; the main thing I try and do is to pay attention to what my body needs. If I’m feeling tired, then maybe an early night is more beneficial than forcing myself to go to the gym.
What’s been your most memorable scene to shoot thus far on Downton Abbey and why?
One of the most memorable scenes I’ve shot on Downton was the scene with Mrs. Hughes directly after Anna was attacked by Mr. Green. I felt a huge responsibility to give the most honest performance I could. It was a very sensitive storyline, which I knew viewers would be shocked by, and I wanted to portray the scenes to the best of my ability.
Something surprising about a few of your castmates…
Well, I couldn’t possibly give away my castmate’s secrets! However, many of the cast have other talents as well as acting. Elizabeth McGovern has a band called Sadie and The Hot Heads and people who haven’t seen her sing before are always very surprised to see “Lady Grantham” on stage. Michelle Dockery has a beautiful singing voice, as do Sophie McShera and Lesley Nicol, who have both starred in musicals. And Jim Carter is a brilliant juggler and magician.
Your biggest discovery in playing Anna…
My biggest discovery about playing Anna would be the lack of choice women had in those times.
Did anything surprise you reading the script and coming into this season?
There are so many surprises in the script for this season, but I can’t tell as it would spoil it!
Are you similar to your character? Why or why not?
I always say Anna is the type of person we would all like as a best friend, so I hope I share her loyalty and empathy.
The best advice from Julian Fellowes you’ve ever received…
I think the best advice we all received from Julian was at the very first read through at the start of season one. He said that we are all in charge of our own stories, and in finding the underlying content of the lines. Because of the etiquette of the times and the way in which Julian writes, Anna might be asking Mr. Bates if she can bring him some food, but what she’s really saying is, “I love you.”
Any pre and post shoot routines? What are they?
My pre shoot routine is just to do my homework and concentrate on my lines and any research I may need to do. My post shoot routine is to go and get my nails done, have my hair colored and have a spray tan!
Go to snacks on set….
I take oat cakes or raw nuts and fruit for an on set snack. I do sometimes cave in and have some chocolate though.
Do you like to cook? What are some of your go-to recipes?
I can put a meal together but I’m not a great cook. I do like to eat nutritious meals. I’m always giving my husband weird green juices that I’ve concocted which are “good for him.” I do love making homemade soups too.
Where do you love to travel? What won’t you travel without?
I do love to travel and I’m lucky because I get to travel a lot with work. I love to go to new countries and experience different cultures (and sample the cuisine!). I never travel without sunscreen (even in the snow, the sun can be strong).
What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you like in each?
Some of my favourite cities for food are Sydney; Sydney rock oysters are the best. In Budapest, I went to a lovely Russian restaurant called Arany Kaviar. In Bilbao, Spain I went to a wonderful restaurant called Restaurante Etxanobe. I love Paris, London, New York, and Los Angeles. Nobu in Malibu is the best sushi I’ve ever had.
If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook?
Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Winston Churchill, Stephen Fry and John Lennon. I’d get someone else to cook (so it was edible) and if it was a summer evening we’d sit outside.
*Joanne Froggatt, photographed at Ladurée in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.