Yep, the Villainous Valet Is Still Gay on 'Downton Abbey'

By: Brandon Voss

Remember when Downton Abbey's Thomas, the seemingly evil footman-turned-valet, was visibly dealing with his attraction to men? What the hell happened to that story line? 

As American audiences await the return of the 1920s-set British series for its third season on PBS, Rob James-Collier, the handsome actor who plays Thomas, addresses the gay issue in a new Out magazine cover story.

Spoiler alert! According to James-Collier, at one point he even called up Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes last season and asked, “Am I still gay?” Why, yes! In fact, viewers will see Thomas outed in season 3 over the course of several powerful episodes that James-Collier considers the best acting of his career. 

“It’s the series where we really get to grips with Thomas’s sexuality and the impact that must have had on him, being gay in Edwardian times,” he says. “If you’re including a gay character, there’s an onus and responsibility to at least show what the impact of the time will be on him, and of him on that time. Thankfully we’ve done that, and I’m so proud as an actor that I’ve been used to tell that tale... If you were gay in those times, the fact that you’re even functioning, how you’re not completely fucked up by that, is beyond me.”

Season 3 of Downton Abbey premieres Jan. 6 on PBS.

Tags: TV