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Downton Abbey’s Phyllis Logan discusses filming the anticipated film amid Covid restrictions

Filming of the much-anticipated sequel of Downton Abbey is already underway, with the film reportedly set for a Christmas release.

And during an interview on Wednesday’s Lorraine, Phyllis Logan has opened up about how the Downton Abbey 2 cast are managing with filming with Covid-19 restrictions in place.

The actress, 65, who plays Mrs Carson (née Hughes) in the period drama, told how the cast have to wear ‘peculiar masks’ with a perspex screen around the neck, with the PPE known on set as ‘the actors’ cone of shame.’ 

Chat: During an interview on Wednesday’s Lorraine, Phyllis Logan has opened up about how the Downton Abbey 2 cast are managing with filming with Covid-19 restrictions in place

Explaining how everyone managed to keep safe on set amid the pandemic, Phyllis explained: ‘We’re being COVID tested about three times a week. 

‘I’ve already had my second jab, hurrah! Lots of us had the jab and I’ve had my two. You must be number one at least!’

Describing how they protect each other, she continued: ‘We have to wear these peculiar masks. 

‘It’s like a perspex screen that goes up but it’s attached to a collar that goes around your neck. We call it the actor’s cone of shame – it’s really weird walking about like that!’

Making the change: Actress Phyllis detailed how the Downton Abbey cast were adapting to filming with Covid restrictions in place (pictured in character as Mrs Hughes, later Carson)

Making the change: Actress Phyllis detailed how the Downton Abbey cast were adapting to filming with Covid restrictions in place (pictured in character as Mrs Hughes, later Carson)

‘It’s because you can’t put a normal mask on and wig. The men have ones that fit on like a mask. 

Sharing whether she thinks things are going back to normal for actors, she added: ‘It seems to be the case. At the start we thought how are we going to get round this. 

‘But we’ve managed, people are very inventive.’

She added: ‘Kevin [McNally, her actor husband] is away working and I’ve been doing other things as well as Downton. I don’t know if things will ever be normal, but it’s certainly manageable.’

Meanwhile, Phyllis said of filming for the sequel: ‘It’s all going terribly well. We’re all thrilled to be doing it again. It’s the usual band of course. Plus, we’ve got some wonderful newbies which I am allowed to tell you. 

Back for more: Filming of the much-anticipated sequel of Downton Abbey is already underway, with the film reportedly set for a Christmas release

Back for more: Filming of the much-anticipated sequel of Downton Abbey is already underway, with the film reportedly set for a Christmas release 

Precautions: The actress, 65, who plays Mrs Carson (née Hughes) in the period drama, told how the cast have to wear 'peculiar masks' with a perspex screen around the neck, with the PPE known on set as 'the actors' cone of shame'

Precautions: The actress, 65, who plays Mrs Carson (née Hughes) in the period drama, told how the cast have to wear ‘peculiar masks’ with a perspex screen around the neck, with the PPE known on set as ‘the actors’ cone of shame’

Safety first: Explaining how everyone managed to keep safe on set amid the pandemic, Phyllis explained: 'We're being Covid tested 3 times a week'

Safety first: Explaining how everyone managed to keep safe on set amid the pandemic, Phyllis explained: ‘We’re being Covid tested 3 times a week’

‘We have the wonderful French actress Nathalie Baye, we have Dominic West, we have Hugh Dancy, we have the lovely Laura Haddock coming to join us this time around.’

It comes as film trucks and catering marquees have been erected in the sprawling grounds of Highclere Castle as filming for the Downton Abbey sequel gets underway.

The beloved ITV series is being adapted into a second movie following the first’s box office success, with cast and crew returning to the set in Hampshire, England.

Little is known about the upcoming movie, but it has been confirmed that Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West have joined the cast, and it is expected to be released at Christmas.

Safe practice: 'It’s like a perspex screen that goes up but it's attached to a collar that goes around your neck. We call it the actor’s cone of shame - it’s really weird walking about like that!'

Safe practice: ‘It’s like a perspex screen that goes up but it’s attached to a collar that goes around your neck. We call it the actor’s cone of shame – it’s really weird walking about like that!’

Exciting times: 'It’s all going terribly well. We’re all thrilled to be doing it again. It’s the usual band of course. Plus, we’ve got some wonderful newbies which I am allowed to tell you'

Exciting times: ‘It’s all going terribly well. We’re all thrilled to be doing it again. It’s the usual band of course. Plus, we’ve got some wonderful newbies which I am allowed to tell you’

Aerial pictures from the set show that production is now well and truly underway for the film sequel, which began filming in March. 

Meanwhile, Hugh Bonneville took to Twitter in April to reveal he was on set, as he stated: ‘Good to be back’, while the show’s official Twitter shared further details. 

In the announcement, bosses confirmed that Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West have joined the cast while a Christmas release date was confirmed. 

It's back! The beloved ITV series is being adapted into a second movie following the first's box office success, with cast and crew returning to the set in Hampshire, England

It’s back! The beloved ITV series is being adapted into a second movie following the first’s box office success, with cast and crew returning to the set in Hampshire, England

Producer Gareth Neame said: ‘After a very challenging year with so many of us separated from family and friends, it is a huge comfort to think that better times are ahead and that next Christmas we will be reunited with the beloved characters.’

Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski said: ‘There’s no place like home for the holidays, and we can’t imagine a better gift than getting to reunite with Julian, Gareth, and the entire family in 2021 to bring the Crawleys back home for their fans.’

While in February, Hugh revealed he’d seen a script for a Downton Abbey film sequel, saying it’s likely to happen once Covid is ‘under control in a sensible way’. 

The star, who plays Lord Grantham in the movie and previous series of the hit period drama, chatted about plans for another film on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show. 

Happy to be back! Downton Abbey 2 began filming earlier this year

Happy to be back! Downton Abbey 2 began filming earlier this year

Back again: Hugh Bonneville took to Twitter in April to reveal he was on set, as he stated: 'Good to be back', while the show's official Twitter shared further details

Back again: Hugh Bonneville took to Twitter in April to reveal he was on set, as he stated: ‘Good to be back’, while the show’s official Twitter shared further details

He told the BBC Radio 2 show: ‘Here’s the deal, if everybody who is offered a vaccine takes a vaccine, we can make a movie, we will make a movie.’ 

The actor, who has acted as a volunteer marshal at a COVID vaccination centre, told Zoe he’s seen a script for the film and added: ‘The planets are circling. They are beginning to get into alignment.

‘There is a thing called coronavirus knocking around and until that is under control in a sensible way, we are not going to be able to get all those ducks in a row.’

An honour: He told the BBC Radio 2 show: 'Here's the deal, if everybody who is offered a vaccine takes a vaccine, we can make a movie, we will make a movie'

An honour: He told the BBC Radio 2 show: ‘Here’s the deal, if everybody who is offered a vaccine takes a vaccine, we can make a movie, we will make a movie’

He added: ‘But there is certainly the intention to do it. We would love to do it. We are desperate to do it.’

Hugh also said that he thinks audiences would ‘enjoy’ another Downton movie after the ‘mess we have been through’ in the past year.   

The Downton Abbey movie saw beloved characters Robert (Hugh) and Cora Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern) told that they will be visited by the King and Queen and the estate have to prepare for the royal visit.

Fingers crossed: Hugh said 'if everybody who is offered a vaccine takes a vaccine, we can make a movie' (pictured Michelle Dockery as Mary and Elizabeth as Cora in the 2019 film)

Fingers crossed: Hugh said ‘if everybody who is offered a vaccine takes a vaccine, we can make a movie’ (pictured Michelle Dockery as Mary and Elizabeth as Cora in the 2019 film)

However the family have to deal with a number of set backs and problems along the way including a suspected assassin attempt. 

Cast members including Matthew Goode, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Dame Maggie Smith all returned for the film. 

The Daily Mail revealed that Maggie Smith, who plays Violet Crawley, and French actress Nathalie Baye will appear together in Downton 2.

Downton 2 will be the Dowager Countess of Grantham’s last hurrah. The theatrical dame has been delighting Downton fans since the series, created by Julian Fellowes, launched on ITV back in 2010.

In the new Downton film, Ms Baye will play an old friend of Violet’s who comes to visit her. Of course, the countess will be surrounded, as usual, by her family — including Hugh’s Lord Grantham and Elizabeth McGovern as his wife Cora. 

Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary and husband Henry (Matthew Goode) will be centre stage, too; along with her sister, Lady Edith, played by Laura Carmichael. 

Interesting: The sequel is thought to be Dowager Countess Violet Crawley's last hurrah and will see her friend come to visit (Maggie pictured in character with Imelda Staunton)

Interesting: The sequel is thought to be Dowager Countess Violet Crawley’s last hurrah and will see her friend come to visit (Maggie pictured in character with Imelda Staunton)

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk