Hugh Bonneville as Lord Grantham in Downton Abbey
Hugh Bonneville as Lord Grantham in Downton Abbey

Hugh Bonneville is an accomplished actor best known for his role as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, in the popular drama series Downton Abbey. He will be honored for his 35-year vibrant and eclectic career at the Mostly British Film Festival at the Vogue Theatre in San Francisco, California.

“It is truly our pleasure to honor an actor who means so much to people of all ages,” says Mostly British Film Festival artistic director Ruthe Stein. “From Downton Abbey when his lordship, Earl of Grantham immediately became everyone’s favorite peer of the realm, to his kindly foster father to a furry co-star in the Paddington movies, Hugh has won over audiences on both sides of the pond.”

From the set of the third Downton Abbey feature, Bonneville sent word that he is “very grateful and touched” by the Mostly British Festival’s invitation.

Past honored guests include Dame Helen Mirren, Bill Nighy, Malcolm McDowell, Michael York OBE, Minnie Driver and Sir Bob Geldof. Joanne Froggatt, who plays a lady’s maid to Lord Grantham’s daughter, was honored at the festival in 2018.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre is co-sponsor of the festival’s Evening with Hugh Bonneville. The Tony-Award winning company is bringing him to Northern California to play the title role in a new adaptation by Conor McPherson of Uncle Vanya in their Peet’s Theatre from February 14-March 23, 2025, and has generously made space in their rehearsal schedule for Mostly British’s tribute event.

The February 8 tribute will encompass an onstage interview conducted by Ruthe Stein illustrated with clips from Bonneville’s earlier films such as Iris, where he played opposite Kate Winslet as Iris Murdoch, Viceroy’s House in which he portrayed Lord Mountbatten and both the original Paddington and the sequel. His voluminous TV work will be sampled in scenes of him as the domineering husband in Daniel Deronda, a psychopathic killer in The Commander, in a singing comedic role as a pirate king in Galavant and a lord in all six seasons of Downton Abbey. A screening of one of Bonneville’s current films will follow, the title as yet to be determined.

The Mostly British Film Festival runs from February 6-13 in 2025

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