Long Melford girl's haircut fundraiser for Downton Abbey appearance

11-year-old Freya Scott in costume for filming on the Downton Abbey: A New Era set last year.

11-year-old Freya Scott in costume for filming on the Downton Abbey: A New Era set last year. - Credit: Michael Scott

Eleven-year-old Freya Scott from Long Melford appeared as an extra in the new film Downton Abbey: A New Era - and helped a charity at the same time.

Freya raised £325 for the Little Princess Trust when she had her hair cut into a bob for her big-screen appearance.

Freya said: "Cutting off my hair was a good thing because I got to donate it to charity."

Freya Scott on set at Belchamp Hall, Sudbury, with actress Raquel Cassidy who played lady's maid Phyllis Baxter.

Freya Scott on set at Belchamp Hall, Sudbury, with actress Raquel Cassidy who played lady's maid Phyllis Baxter. - Credit: Michael Scott

Freya's father Michael Scott said they responded to a casting call which was sent to local Theatretrain pupils at the beginning of 2021.

As filming took place in the midst of Covid lockdown measures, Mr Scott said the production needed extras for the film but didn't want them to travel down from London.

He applied for Freya to take part in the film on the same evening that the casting call was sent out.

Freya raised £325 for the Little Princess Trust when she had her hair cut for the appearance on Downton Abbey: A New Era.

Freya raised £325 for the Little Princess Trust when she had her hair cut for the appearance on Downton Abbey: A New Era. - Credit: Michael Scott

Over the coming weeks Mr Scott had to provide measurements and profile shots of Freya to casting directors at all times of the day and night.

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Freya had to take a PCR on set at Belchamp Hall, Sudbury, every day of the three-day filming period. 

While on set, Freya met Hugh Bonneville, who played the Earl of Grantham, and Raquel Cassidy, who played lady's maid Phyllis Baxter.

She said she was more starstruck by the latter as she's a fan of her performance as Miss Hardbroom in CBBC's The Worst Witch series.

Raising money for the Little Princess Trust, Freya cut her hair into a bob for her role in Downton Abbey: A New Era.

Raising money for the Little Princess Trust, Freya cut her hair into a bob for her role in Downton Abbey: A New Era. - Credit: Michael Scott

Once filming had finished, Freya and her parents signed a non-disclosure agreement with NBC Studios.

Freya said: "I had to keep it a secret from my friends for a very long time."

Her grandparents saw Downton Abbey: A New Era on opening night on Friday, April 29, spotting their granddaughter in the first five minutes of the film.

Freya's mum took her to a screening at the cinema in which Freya pointed out her appearance in the wedding reception scene.

Mr Scott says they will be buying the movie on DVD and watching back Freya's appearance multiple times.

Freya has attended singing, acting and dancing classes at Theatretrain since she was six years old.

She said her favourite classes are "singing and acting" and she'd love to be an extra on a film set again: "It was really fun, I'd definitely do it again."

Still from Downton Abbey: A New Era with four of the actors walking across a lawn in tennis gear

Still from the Downton Abbey: A New Era - left to right Harry Hadden-Paton, Laura Carmichael, Tuppence Middleton and Allen Leech - Credit: Ben Blackall/Universal/PA