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Julian Fellowes: Modern version of wealth and power can be 'very ugly'
By SP_COP on April 30, 2014 | From www.telegraph.co.uk
Julian Fellowes: Modern version of wealth and power can be 'very ugly' Downton Abbey may have offered the world a glimpse of British aristocracy at its finest, but it appears Lord Fellowes would struggle to write its modern day equivalent.

The award-winning screenwriter has warned of the changing nature of the monied classes, with the social conscience of old landowners being replaced by a "very ugly" version of wealth.

Lord Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, said the upper classes of the past had felt a “strong responsibility” to their land and those living on it, which is not always reflected in the 21st century.

Claiming the modern version of wealth can be “very ugly”, he added the idea of gaining social status through a commitment to the community is now “in danger of being lost entirely”.

Speaking in the first edition of new magazine Town & Country, Lord Fellowes explained audiences still enjoyed Downton Abbey as an “ideal version of life” in the aristocracy.

In an interview alongside actress Lily James, who plays Lady Rose in the ITV period drama, he added the public are now encouraged to view the rich as “horrible”.

When asked by interviewer Andrew O’Hagan why audiences were still so interested in class distinctions, Lord Fellowes said: “The modern version of being rich, comfortable and powerful can be very ugly, and the old landed aristocracy had a conscience.

“They lived among beautiful things, yet they had a strong sense of responsibility to their own land and community.

“In fact, in those days, you were given social status on account of your moral commitment, and that is in danger of being lost entirely.

“Very often nowadays, politicians encourage the idea that the rich are horrible. And one sees a kind of group hypnosis: everyone wants to be rich, but they also pretend to hate the rich.

“So when something like Downton comes along, it looks like an ideal version of life.”

He added: “The British have a strong sense of their own history and to us the past is a real place.”

Lord Fellowes also praised Lily James for the "gifts" and charm she brought to her character.

“I think charm is the most important ingredient in a human being," he said. "Forget class. The world is split into drains and radiators: the latter give out warmth.”...
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Julian Fellowes: Modern version of wealth and power can be 'very ugly'
SP_COP - April 30, 2014 - www.telegraph.co.uk
Downton Abbey may have offered the world a glimpse of British aristocracy at its finest, but it appears Lord Fellowes would struggle to write its modern day equivalent.The award-winning screenwriter h...
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