INTERVIEW: Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery Talks Emmys, Season 4 and Life After Matthew For Lady Mary

While UK Downton Abbey fans are rejoicing over the September 22 start date for Season 4, the fascinating period drama won't be back until January 2014 in the States. To tide Yank soap fans over until then, Daytime Confidential caught up with Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated actress Michelle Dockery, who plays long-suffering Lady Mary Crawley on the hit serial.

The talented actress offered interesting insight about the show, her character and that impressive Emmy nomination. Dockery also dished her alter ego's love life, now that much-loved Matthew (Dan Stevens) has gone on to the Great English Country Estate in The Sky.

"She’s incredibly strong, I think they all are really," said Dockery of her fiery character. "You know Edith (Laura Carmichael) and Mary have been through already a lot together. You know, they’ve been through a war—I mean all of the characters—they’ve lost a sister. I think there is a strength about the characters that Julian Fellowes writes. They are all three-dimensional; they are so rich in their personalities. She has the strength to kind of see it through. But it is kind of touch and go in the beginning. She is in a really, really dark place, as you could see from the promo, it’s six months on and she’s still refusing to come out of mourning. I mean he was not just a great husband but a great character for the audience, so she’s not going to get over it easily."

Dockery also shared her first reaction to learning Stevens was leaving the series. 

"Oh crap," she recalled thinking. "What is going to happen? Because I thought, you know, where can the story go now? We've spent all this time having this on off, will they/won't they relationship, and then suddenly it was coming to an end. So initially I was concerned about what would happen. But I think that, as much as it was sad to see Dan go, the same as it was to see Jessica [Brown-Findlay] go, it opens up the opportunity for Julian to write a new chapter and something quite different, not only for Mary, but the knock on effect it has for other characters."



2 Responses

  1. Profile photo of bobbyew

    Can’t wait till January. The HELLO! Magazine interview with Michelle was great. I hope her and her sister’s widow get together and live happily ever after. Because they deserve it.

  2. Profile photo of bottomchef

    Downton abbey’s quality has really gone down. Lady mary is not a strong enough lead char for the show. Maggie smith is impeccable on abbey. But she can’t keep carrying this show. Battle of divas w/ shirley macclaine was a complete letdown.

    Creator of downton abbey is the real letdown though. There’s an article where he mentions that it would be very realistic for this period piece to have Indian chars. Yet there are still no Indian chars! Downton abbey does not need more white chars. It needs racial diversity.

    Abbey cast 1 African british char only. Will he be relegated to background? Will he be paired w/ 1 of white women? W/c of downton abbey chars would be a racist towards this African british char? It would be very unrealistic if they did not touch on racism.

    Abbey has written a lot of storylines for its gay char thomas. They even had a coming out episode for him where chars were his straight allies. They have not neglected thomas and have even made char less evil than he was from season1. Pressure from hollywood and entertainment press perhaps? Abbey should definitely write for their 1 African british char and give him the same significance as its gay char.

    But it’s quite awful for abbey to still not have any Indian chars especially when abbey’s creator already mentioned that it would be realistic to have Indian chars! It’s bec casting African british char fills “diversity quota” for chars of color. While season4 cast around 9 new chars w/ white actors! Utter failure.

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