Joanne Froggatt on Downton Abbey Rape Scene: 'It Was a Big Responsibility'
“After this storyline aired, I received a small number of letters from survivors of rape,” she told the audience. “One woman summed up the thoughts of many, saying she wasn’t sure why she’d written, but she just felt in some ways she wanted to be heard, and I would just like to say, I heard you, and I hope saying this so publicly means in some ways you feel the world hears you.”
Froggatt’s character Anna had an emotional rape storyline during the show’s fourth season.
“It is incredibly touching for me to feel like these women were able to be so candid with me and trust me with their stories,” Froggatt, 34, told reporters in the press room following her speech. “So that makes – it is something very different and something very removed and extra from what I usually do for a living.”
And while it may not have been the actress’s first role dealing with sensitive material, Froggatt called her portrayal of Anna a “big responsibility.”
“Yes, it is a fictional character, but at the same time there may be people watching it that have been through similar experiences,” she said. “My worst fear as an actress would be for those people to watch something I do and feel that it wasn’t honest and I hadn’t worked my hardest.”
• Reporting by GABRIELLE OLYA