On Christmas Day, 2015, over 11 million people in the UK alone tuned in to watch the final episode of Downton Abbey. For many fans, the conclusion of the smash-hit period drama marked the end of an era. Where, now, were they going to get their fix of cut-glass accents, beautiful sets and ridiculously soapy storylines (remember the time Lady Mary Crawley basically killed a Turkish diplomat by having sex with him? Or when everyone thought Tragic Edith had been ghosted by the father of her illegitimate child and it turned out he’d actually been killed by Nazis? Happy days).
But now, the erstwhile Lady Mary has revealed that we might not have seen the end of the Crawleys after all.
In a recent interview, Michelle Dockery – who played Lady Mary – says that she hadn’t ruled out starring in a movie version of Downton Abbey.
“The thing I miss the most [about Downton Abbey] are my cast members. But we are still very close. I think there is potential for a film,” she tells The Telegraph. “That is something I would wholeheartedly consider, so we will see. It may not be over yet.”
Rumours that we could be seeing Downton on the silver screen have been circulating since last year. In March 2015, the show’s executive producer Gareth Neame told Deadline that he was “very interested” in making a film, but couldn’t confirm it was happening. He later added that the Downton team had “thrown around some ideas for a film”.
The show’s creator and executive producer, Julian Fellowes, has said he has “got a few ideas” for a film. “I think it’s very possible and it would be fun for us to do,” he told the Mail on Sunday in November 2015. “I certainly have no objections because the film would be another adventure. My own feeling would be that a film now would need to include the characters from the series as they were in the series.”
Dockery plays a wild modern-day con artist in her latest show, Good Behaviour, which will air on American channel TNT later this year. Her character occupies a totally different world to Downton Abbey, but Dockery says she didn’t set out to challenge people’s preconceptions of her.
“It was very fortunate for me that this came along at the right time. It wasn’t a conscious decision to do something so totally different from Lady Mary but I was completely hooked on the script from the first page and I loved the complexity of the character,” she says.
“Downton Abbey was an incredible journey for six years and we were very sad to say goodbye, but it was the right time and it was very exciting actually leaving and going on to something like this and a whole new path in my career.”
Dockery says that starring in Good Behaviour also helped her cope with the loss of her fiancé, John Dineen, who died from cancer in December 2015. She tells The Telegraph that acting had served as a “release” – and that “friends and family see you through the most difficult times”.
Images: ITV, Rex Features