Why the Cast of ‘Downton Abbey’ Had to Be Told to Stop Touching Each Other

Nov 11, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Cast members on “Downton Abbey” have been banned from touching each other unnecessarily on screen in the name of historical accuracy, reports the U.K.’s Telegraph.

Alastair Bruce, who advises the show on etiquette and historical accuracy, said he has told the actors not to touch each other because there was so little physical contact in that era, the story says.

In the early 20th century, before antibiotics, there was “no physical contact” and “no hugging,” Bruce told the BBC Radio 2 Arts Show, the story says.

“I tell the actors not to touch each other,” said Bruce, who has worked on films including “The King’s Speech.” “I don’t want any hugging, no physical contact; they just didn’t do that in those days.”

He added, “The reason they didn’t is because it wasn’t that long before then that disease was spread so much more easily.

“We hug, kiss — good Lord you meet somebody now and they kiss you within minutes — and it’s because we’ve got antibiotics.”

Bruce also said, “But I don’t think people realize how distant natural life was for the British in that period.”

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“Downton Abbey”

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