Julian Fellowes

Creator of Downton Abbey, Academy Award-Winning Writer, Director, Novelist, and Actor

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At the Podium

At the podium, Fellowes gives a behind-the-scenes look at Downton Abbey. From his relationship with the owners of Highclere Estate—the fictional Downton Abbey’s stand-in—to his inspiration for the setting and characters, Fellowes delivers a fascinating look into one of television’s most beloved shows.

About Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes is creator, writer, and executive producer of the smash hit television series Downton Abbey. The show depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era—with the great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy. Downton Abbey, which launched in 2010, has received critical acclaim and has gone on to win numerous awards, including Emmys, Golden Globes, and a SAG award, among others, and is the most popular drama ever televised by PBS. A fourth season premieres in January 2014.

Fellowes was catapulted onto Hollywood’s A-list when he received the Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay in 2002 for Gosford Park, his first produced film. The screenplay earned Fellowes multiple awards, and he was named ShoWest’s 2002 Screenwriter of the Year.

In addition to Downton Abbey, Fellowes has a deal with NBC to create, write, and produce The Gilded Age, an epic tale of the princes of the American Renaissance and the vast fortunes they made—and spent—in late nineteenth century New York. Fellowes also wrote the script for the mini-series Titanic, whose airing marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship.

Other projects include a new production of Romeo and Juliet, starring Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth, that is scheduled to be released in the U.S. in October 2013. He is also developing The Chess Machine, based on a novel set in 18th century Vienna and about a miraculous machine that plays chess with the Empress and which may not be so miraculous after all. Fellowes will also write the screenplay adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical, Gypsy, which will star Barbra Streisand as “Momma Rose.”

Fellowes made his directorial debut in 2005 with the critically acclaimed Separate Lies, for which he received the Best Directorial Debut award from the National Board of Review. His second feature as both writer and director was From Time to Time, a haunting ghost story spanning two worlds and two centuries. The film won Best Picture at the Chicago Children’s Film Festival, the Youth Jury Award at the Seattle International Film Festival, and Best Picture at the Fiuggi Family Festival in Rome. Other film credits include screenplays for The Tourist (2010) and the biographical drama The Young Victoria (2009). He wrote the screenplays for Vanity Fair (2004) and Picadilly Jim (2004), based on P.G. Wodehouse’s classic novel, as well.

Fellowes has authored two best-selling novels: Snobs (2005), a witty satire of the English class system; and the clever mystery Past Imperfect (2008/2009). His critically-acclaimed children’s book, The Curious Adventures of the Abandoned Toys, was published in 2007.

Fellowes wrote the “book” for the Tony-nominated stage production of Mary Poppins, which was a hit on Broadway during its seven year run and continues to play to record-breaking audiences on its national and international tour.

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  • Behind-the-Scenes of Downton Abbey

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