Lord Grantham may have mentioned India one too many a time in Downton Abbey, but that’s not the only connection that Hugh Bonneville (the actor who plays Robert Crawley) has with the country.
The 51-year-old British actor is currently in Jodhpur shooting for Gurinder Chadha’s upcoming film Viceroy’s House. We were pleasantly surprised to know that this was not his first visit to India.
“It’s not my first time here in India, no (laughs). Actually I came here when I was 18 years old. Just like many backpackers of my age, I decided to backpack through India. And all those years ago, I remember that when I came back home, I realized I was really happy and at peace with myself. It was a really great time that I had back then and it was one experience that stayed with me all through my adult life,” Bonneville quipped.
Bonneville, who has been shooting here for the last one month, will be in the country for another month. “I am just so excited that I get to stay here for a longer time. I have been travelling across Rajasthan, which has been absolutely wonderful,” he said, adding, “I love the vibrancy here. There is an explosion of culture. The people here are so humble and so very nice.”
And when in India, philanthropy comes naturally to celebrities. Bonneville too is involved with an Indian NGO that promotes awareness about water sanitation. “Ever since I have been here, we’ve been to two villages in Rajasthan, where we have spoken about the importance of hygiene and clean drinking water. It makes you feel nice that you are involved with something that’s part of a greater good. It gives me an opportunity to do my bit for this world,” he signed off.