Top 5 Modern-Meets-Historical Moments


When filming a historical costume movie or TV series, there’s a lot of downtime — so any actor, director, or even extra will tell you. And this being the 21st century, what happens when a person has a little downtime? Yep, you pull out your cellphone. Whether to check email, text your sweetie, or take a selfie, few are immune from this temptation.

Thanks to the paparazzi and sometimes the show producers themselves, we have some evidence of historical costume moments married with modern technology. Here are five fun behind-the-scenes photos showing actors from recent productions taking a peek on their phones while waiting for their next scene. Check out our Facebook page today for a few more!


Downton Abbey‘s Allen Leech (Tom Branson) texts his agent about new gigs, after learning Tom won’t be in series 6, while Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) is annoyed that her iPhone battery died.


Sorry, Samuel West (Sir Walter Pole in Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell), those tight Regency coats just aren’t made to fit a big Samsung Galaxy.


Damian Lewis (Henry VIII in Wolf Hall) takes a selfie for sending to his wife, Helen McCrory. “Check out this getup, hon! I’m totally the king!”


Rushing to the funeral-of-her-mother scene for season 3 of Mr. Selfridge, Hannah Tointon (Violette Selfridge) misses the NWT Manolos auction she was stalking on eBay.


“Sorry missed ur txt – was busy broodin n scythin – s’up?” — Aidan Turner (Poldark).


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

3 Responses

  1. Michael L. McQuown

    At least they’re not stepping in front of oncoming cars. I was trying to make a left turn recently and a woman, crossing the intersection on the diagonal, passed in front with no awareness that I was there.

      • Michael L. McQuown

        I honestly don’t remember, but I think it was more on the order of Business Casual than Contemporary Slovenly. I do remember that she had more looks than brains.