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“It may not be over yet”: Michelle Dockery is very on board with a movie version of Downton Abbey

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Moya Crockett
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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”.

michelle-dockery

Michelle Dockery at a panel discussion promoting her new show, Good Behaviour

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”. 

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Anna Smith, Head Housemaid

    "I love you, Mr. Bates! And I know it’s not ladylike to say so, but I’m not a lady and I don’t pretend to be."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Lady Sybil Crawley

    "No one ever learned anything from a governess except for French, and how to curtsy."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Lady Mary Crawley

    "I hope you know that really smart people sleep in separate rooms."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Cora, the Countess of Grantham

    "No one ever tells you about raising daughters. You think it’ll be like Little Women, and instead they’re at each others’ throats."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Sarah O'Brien, the Countess of Grantham's Lady's maid

    (Talking about Cora, the Countess of Grantham) "I’d like to give her the old heave ho–in a dark alley somewhere."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Lady Grantham, the Dowager Countess

    "What's a 'weekend?'"

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Lady Edith Crawley and Lady Mary Crawley

    Lady Edith: (in reference to Lary Mary's beau) "So he slipped the hook"

    Lady Mary: "At least I'm not fishing with no bait"

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Mrs Patmore, Cook

    (to Daisy, the kichen maid) "Daisy, what’s happened to you? I said you could go for a drink of water, not a trip up the Nile."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Charles Carson, Butler

    Carson: "We may have to have a maid in the dining room."

    The Earl of Grantham: "Cheer up, Carson. There are worse things happening in the world."

    Carson: "Not worse than a maid serving a duke."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Lady Grantham, the Dowager Countess

    "Sometimes I feel as if I were living in an H.G. Wells novel."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Cora, the Countess of Grantham

    (to her daughter, Lady Mary) "The point is, when you refused Matthew, you were an earl’s daughter with an unsullied reputation. Now, you are damaged goods."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Sarah O'Brien, the Countess of Grantham's Lady's maid, and Thomas Barrow, First Footman

    Thomas: (talking about Matthew Crawley, heir to the estate) "Are we to treat him as the heir?"

    O'Brien: "Are we heck as like! A doctor's son from Manchester? He'll be lucky if he gets a civil word out of me."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Lady Grantham, the Dowager Countess

    "I'm a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Robert, the Earl of Grantham and Cora, the Countess of Grantham

    Earl of Grantham: (talking about their daughter) "Poor old Edith. We never seem to talk about her."

    Countess of Grantham: "I'm afraid Edith will be the one taking care of us in our old age."

    Earl of Grantham: "What a ghastly prospect!"

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Lady Mary Crawley and Sir Richard Carlisle

    Sir Richard: "I want you to marry me."

    Lady Mary: "Why?"

    Sir Richard: "Because I think very highly of you."

    Lady Mary: "Very highly. Goodness."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Robert, the Earl of Grantham

    (about his daughter) "Mary can be such a child. She thinks that if you put a toy down, it’ll still be sitting there when you want to play with it again."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Lady Rosamund Painswick

    Lady Rosamind: "There's nothing like an English summer, is there?"

    Lady Mary Crawley: "Except an English winter."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Lady Sybil Crawley

    Lady Mary Crawley: "Sybil is entitled to her opinions."

    Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham: "No. She isn't until she is married, then her husband will tell her what her opinions are."

  • Classic quotes from Downton Abbey

    Mrs Isobel Crawley

    Isobel: "What should we call each other?"

    The Dowager Countess: "Well, we could always start with Mrs. Crawley and Lady Grantham."

Images: ITV, Rex Features

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Moya Crockett

Moya is Women’s Editor at stylist.co.uk, where she is currently overseeing the Visible Women campaign. As well as writing about inspiring women and feminism, she also covers subjects including careers, podcasts and politics. Carrying a tiny bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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