Rob James-Collier, who plays gay villain Thomas Barrow on Masterpiece's Downton Abbey, says he's proud of his character.

The 36-year-old James-Collier told gay glossy Out that the series will explore his character's sexuality in greater detail in season 3, which began airing Sunday on PBS, after being mostly ignored in season 2.

“It's the series where he really comes to grips with Thomas' sexuality and the impact being gay must have had on him, in Edwardian times,” he said. “If you're including a gay character, there's an onus and responsibility to at least show what the impact of the time will be on him, and of him on that time. Thankfully we've done that, and I'm so proud that I've been used to tell that tale.”

“If you were gay in those times, the fact that you're even functioning, how you're not completely fucked up by that, is beyond me,” he added.