Two new faces joined the show’s cast in Season 4 of Downton Abbey but you’ll only see one of them on camera at a time. Twin boys Cole and Logan Weston play George Crawley, son of Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Matthew (Dan Stevens), and at just 15 months old, these two are already charmers.
“They like batting their eyelids at the ladies,” says mother Charlotte Weston, 23, of her young sons. “You could always tell when Michelle would come around [because] the boys would just smile and flirt.”
After their boys were born, the Westons sought out an acting agency, knowing twins are in high demand for screen roles. Having two babies on hand makes filming easier for when one gets cranky or needs a bottle. “It was just a bit of fun, really,” Charlotte says of signing the two up for potential acting gigs.
Soon enough, however, the Westons heard back from an agent who asked if she could put the boys forward for Downton, a show the family had heard of but never watched. That quickly changed: They've marathoned all three series and eagerly watched Season 4 while it aired in the United Kingdom last year.
Despite living five hours outside of London in the northwest region of Cumbria, Charlotte and her mum were game to drive the kids to and from filming, which wrapped for the twins back in July. While on set, Charlotte says the cast went out of their way to make the new additions feel at home.
“Elizabeth [McGovern] (Lady Cora) was very lovely,” she says, adding that Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes) would always “pop in and see us.” Even though filming for Season 4 has long since wrapped, Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) continues to stay in touch with the Westons via Twitter, as does fellow baby co-star, Sybbie (Ava Mann).
“The boys loved Jim [Carter],” Charlotte says. “Every time he spoke they’d just watch him. They were taken back by it, hypnotized.”
Even when Logan and Cole got fussy, Charlotte says the stars didn’t mind. “In one of the scenes Logan was crying and [Maggie Smith (the Dowager Countess)] sort of smiled at me from across the room as if to say, ‘Bless you,’” Charlotte recalls. “She just tried to carry on with the lines, which I thought was really professional of her.”
As for the twins’s onscreen mum, Michelle was actually the only cast member who can tell the two apart. She went out of her way to learn “all of their little quirks,” says Charlotte, adding that Michelle would often observe how Charlotte would comfort the twins so she could do it herself. “She was a proper little mummy,” Charlotte says.
Back home in quiet Cumbria, Charlotte was surprised by the amount of attention the boys got. “We didn’t think people would be that bothered by them because they’re just babies,” she says. But once news broke about who would play dear Matthew’s infant son, life got “just mad” for awhile.
“We had TV interviews. We had all the newspapers, all the local newspapers, radio, and they were turning up on our doorstep,” Charlotte says. Despite the craziness, the Westons are more than willing to give it another go, that is if the boys make it to Season 5.
“It just depends on how far the writers want to move [the story up],” she says. Seeing as significant time jumps seem unlikely if Downton wants to keep around any fan favorites, odds seem good we’ll see Logan and Cole at the Abbey again.
Whether or not they return, however, Charlotte’s just happy her sons had the experience.
“We loved it. It was amazing,” she says, adding what “a shame [it is] they’re not going to know.”
To make sure the boys have a least a few memories from their time on set, Charlotte decided to compile a scrapbook of the experience with Downton’s cast members each leaving their youngest co-stars a special note. Let’s hope Mr. Carson recorded his. We bet the boys would be entranced for hours.