Downton Abbey's Joanne Froggatt, who plays lady's maid Anna Bates, has spoken about how her character and on-screen husband Mr Bates have been dealing with their recent contraversial storyline.
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"Anna and Bates' love can survive anything," said Joanne during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, reassuring fans who have seen the couple struggle in the weeks following the violent attack Anna suffered in episode three.
The 33-year-old actress, who hails from Littlebeck in North Yorkshire, also spoke about first reaction to the plot when she read the script for series four.
"I never thought it was going too far," said Joanne, who is married to IT director James Cannon. "I was surprised when I heard about the storyline, but I was really pleased because it's a really important issue the show is tackling.
"It's important to remember that for a girl, especially a working class girl in service, like the character Anna is, these things did happen and happened quite a lot," she added.
"When something is dramatized it provokes a much more emotive response than just hearing a story on the news."
Downton Abbey's creator Julian Fellowes also made his feelings known about the public's mixed reaction to the storyline.
"I hope, if it's not too ambitious to say it, that how Anna deals with it will be useful. I mean if we help one person then it's worth it," he said.
"I'm sorry of course if people are unhappy," added Julian. "But we were very careful not to do it in the ordinary television way of having some gruesome scene where you see everything.
"You saw nothing, but you know it's happened and that's what we're interested in - the emotional response to what happened."