I haven’t been watching the new season of Downton Abbey, but as someone who watched and recapped the first two I certainly came away with many questions. Why didn’t Daisy ever age? How much time did the family spend walking around the property every week? What did Lord Grantham do all day, other than take walks and be dressed for dinner? Why is Bates so god damn stupid sometimes? Endless questions, really, but none better than the one Shirley MacLaine asked Rob James-Collier, the actor who plays the horrible, horrible Thomas. From News Letter:

Such is Thomas’s notoriety that when Oscar-winning American actress Shirley MacLaine first jetted in to play Lady Cora’s mother at the beginning of this series, she made a beeline for James-Collier to berate him.

“It was a completely surreal experience,” he recalls. “She got out the car, this Hollywood icon, and she was kind of looking for someone. And everyone was there, the entire cast, and she went, ‘It’s you!’ pointing at me. She came over to me and she’s like, ‘The evil one! Why are you so evil?’

“And I was like, ‘Hello Shirley, nice to meet you, I’m Rob, how you doing?’ and she was like, ‘Never mind that, why are you so evil?’”

GOOD QUESTION, SHIRLEY MACLAINE! Why are you so evil, Thomas? What’s your deal? Why have you never had any redeeming qualities other than the fact that one time an ex-lover made you feel sad when he threw your blackmail letters in the fire, which was really only slightly relatable — the sadness, not the blackmail letters in the fire — it would be blackmail SEXTS now, and a cellphone being thrown into the ocean — rather than redeeming? HUH? ANSWER THE QUESTION, THOMAS! You damn jerk. Go away, Thomas, you damn jerk. (Via Vulture.)

Comments (19)
  1. Shouldn’t Shirley MacLaine already know the answer?

  2. He also got close to that one traumatized soldier! That episode was pretty humanizing.

  3. My question about Downton Abbey is: Did Bates actually kill his wife? Because only a soapy twist like that, revealed after Anna finally proves his innocence and gets him out of jail, would make watching that snoozefest of a plot line worthwhile.

  4. Then she screamed at Sophie McShera: “Why are you so extraneous!?!?!?!”

  5. Thomas also looks so gnarly this season, just like shiny wax. At least in the first two seasons he was decently attractive, now he has ZERO redeeming qualities. He also has the worst tastes in men.

    • No way! Season 3′s episodes 6 and 7 have done a good job of humanizing him, finally, and he has backed off of the Insanely Evil Plans a lot. Now he just has minor pranks. Basically getting him and Mrs. O’Brien on opposing sides has made a HUGE difference. Also enough other drama has happened that he doesn’t have to carry the weight of Eternal Bad Guy.


        I know I’m supposed to feel bad for Thomas after this week’s episode but I kinda don’t cause he’s still Thomas. Agreed that pitting him and O’B against each other (rather than having them do random acts of evil against others) was a good move.

        I do feel bad that I still hate Daisy. She irritates the bejesus out of me.

        Surprised at how much I love Branson, I mean Tom, this season.

  6. Classic Lizard Eyes.

  7. Thomas is easily my favorite character, but maybe that’s because I’m a misanthrope.

  8. That is the greatest story ever. And how amazing / terrifying would it be to get that woman’s side eye and a quip? Love her.

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