John Shearer/Invision/AP
Andrea Billups
January 28, 2013 10:00 AM

On the screen, Downton Abbey‘s downstairs house staff are decidedly unglamorous and dressed to reflect their life’s station. But at the SAG Awards Sunday night, where they won for best TV cast, the actors said they were thrilled to be made up and presenting themselves as red-carpet ready.

“It’s bliss. It really is nice to have more than 10 minutes spent on your face,” said actress Phyllis Logan, who plays stoic Mrs. Hughes, the head maid.

Added Amy Nuttall, who plays Ethel, the housemaid turned prostitute: We all get costume and hair and makeup envy of the upstairs girls. They all look immaculate and fresh, and we’re all made to look tired.”

Sophie McShera, who plays kitchen maid Daisy Mason and who celebrated backstage, agreed that their red carpet transformation, making them look far different that their characters, was fun.

“We got to put on quite a bit of makeup and we don’t really get that on Downton. It’s really exciting to get all dressed up and go out together.

The jubilant team, McShera said, celebrated its third-season win with lots of bubbly. “We had a lot of Champagne,” she said. “Someone just offered us water, which I thought was shocking. We were like, ‘No, Champagne.’ ”

Their red carpet survival tip?

“Safety in numbers!” McShera offered.


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