For us P&P movie fans, Penelope Wilton, of course, was best known for her small, but memorable role as Mrs. Gardiner aka aunt Gardiner to Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Bennet and the rest of the Bennet sisters (Jane, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia) in the 2005 Pride & Prejudice film.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in theaters now and Downton Abbey currently filming Season 3 with Shirley MacLaine!
Watch her lovely (over 12 minutes long) video interview below and check out USA Today's in-depth profile on Penelope Wilton, and yes, they talk about Downton Abbey as well as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel...
Penelope Wilton related articlesNEW YORK – These days, meeting one of the principal players of the British TV sensation Downton Abbey almost feels like encountering one of the Beatles back in their '60s heyday. Instead of outbreaks of twisting and shouting by fans, however, the actors are more prone to be prodded for precious details of future episodes.Alas, all are sworn to secrecy. That includes Penelope Wilton, 65, whose chic haircut and figure-flattering garb show only a slight hint of Isobel Crawley, her dowdy do-gooder on the glorified soap opera that follows the travails of an upper-crusty English family and its serving staff amid early 20th-century societal upheavals.
But Wilton's feathery vocal inflections immediately give her away as the mother of Matthew, the estate's presumptive heir. Her middle-class matron is a regular source of consternation for Maggie Smith, whose priceless putdowns as the Dowager Countess account for much of the series' popularity."We're so pleased we are doing well here," says Wilton. Not that she hasn't had a career full of triumphs already, from conquering Shakespeare, Shaw and Beckett onstage to memorable roles as a middle-age pinup in Calendar Girls, a zombie victim in Shaun of the Dead and a disapproving mum in Woody Allen's Match Point. But global fame is a different game altogether.
Today, she's in town to promote Friday's opening of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a picturesque feel-good ensemble piece about seven British seniors — including seasoned stalwarts Smith (she and Wilton are quite chummy in real life), Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy—who pull up stakes to spend their retirement years in India. In a savvy move, promos for the film were shown on PBS when Downton's second season aired earlier this year, taking advantage of Wilton and Smith's participation in both. Read full article via USA Today!
Penelope Wilton on 'Exotic,' gloomy roles
Wilton plays Jean, the unhappy wife of Nighy's character. She's been in plenty of movies, ranging from "Pride & Prejudice" to "Shaun of the Dead." Perhaps even more impressive to current audiences, she plays Isobel Crawley in "Downton Abbey." Wilton talked about working with the "Marigold" cast -- again -- and the surprising popularity of "Abbey."
USA Today REVIEW: 'Exotic Marigold Hotel' lets senior citizens bloom