Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Downton Stars talk Shirley MacLaine

The following are from The Press Association.

Downton Joanne: Shirley's such fun

Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt has said Shirley MacLaine was lots of fun to have in the cast.
The Oscar-winning actress will appear in series three as Martha Levinson, the wealthy mother of Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern), and has been over in England filming her scenes.

Joanne, who plays housemaid Anna, said: "We haven't worked together but I met her twice on set and she was absolutely lovely.

"She was amazing, everybody loved having her there. She was so much fun to have around, she's really fantastic."

The 31-year-old actress, who usually wears a dowdy maid's outfit in the hit ITV show, was partying at the Empire Film Awards 2012 and admitted she loved being able to dress up.
She said: "I love Anna, and I love playing her and I love my little maid's outfit, but any excuse to dress up and I'm all for it, definitely."

Leech: My moment with MacLaine

Downton Abbey star Allen Leech has confessed he fluffed his lines when Hollywood actress Shirley MacLaine turned up on set.
The Irish actor - who plays Branson the chauffeur in the hit ITV1 show - got starstruck when he filmed a scene with the Oscar winner, who will appear in series three as Martha Levinson, the wealthy mother of Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern).

"I sat down and the first line I did with her, it came out as 'Blah blah blah' and she went, 'Darling I think you got that wrong'," Allen revealed.

"She's amazing. Lovely. And so down to earth, which was really brilliant. She arrived on set and she kind of just became part of the cast.

"It's one of those casts where everyone just gets on so well. It's like a big family and when she arrived she just got embraced into it and she went with it, and it was brilliant."

Allen said Shirley got on particularly well with Dame Maggie Smith, who plays Downton's matriarch, the formidable Dowager Countess.

He added: "They got on like a house on fire. They know so many of the same people, they were sitting there swapping stories. Just watching them, there are three Oscars sitting there in front of you, it's amazing."
And the actor insisted he wasn't worried about ratings, despite rival BBC show Upstairs Downstairs experiencing a dip in its new series.

"You can never really think about stuff like that. You can only go on the success you've had before, and given the success we had, we'd love to match it and better it. It comes down to the storylines and I think they're there this year and I think we can do it."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Downton's Thomas never supposed to last this long

Rob James-Collier revealed that his character was only meant to be on the show for one season.

"When they started, my character wasn't even supposed to be in series two and three," he explained. "He was going to get sacked I think, because that's what I was told at the audition - 'It's a great part, he's a really nasty piece and he gets his comeuppance, but the only bad thing is that he gets sacked at the end'.

"But then after filming the first two episodes, the producers rang up my agent and said, 'Would he consider being optioned for series two and three?' And that just came out of the blue - it's a no-brainer.

"So here I am - I could have been killed off a million times. I haven't. But I could get killed off at the end of series three, you never know. So that's why I don't think too far ahead."

Source: Digital Spy

New season 3 Downton Abbey cast members

Ed Speleers has been cast in the new season of Downton Abbey. The Eragon actor will play a footman named Jimmy when the ITV drama returns.

Cara Theobald will play a new kitchen maid called Ivy and Lucille Sharp will play Martha Levinson's (Shirley McLaine) lady's maid Miss Reid (pictured.)

Matt Milne, War Horse star, will play a footman named Alfred, who is O'Brien's nephew.

Source: Digital Spy

Monday, March 19, 2012

Gillian Anderson Turned Down Downton Abbey Role

Gillian Anderson has revealed that she turned down Downton Abbey. The X-Files star was offered the role of Lady Cora Crawley - eventually played by Elizabeth McGovern - in the ITV period drama, according to TV Guide.

Source: TV Guide

Downton Season 3 Contract Renewals

I'll be keeping track of the contracts as the news breaks.

So far everyone except the following have renewed their contract for a 4th season:

Maggie Smith (the Dowager Countess)
Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley)
Siobhan Finneran (Ms. O'Brien)
Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil Crawley)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Behind the Scenes - Season 3 - SPOILERS

Updated 3/14/12

Shirley MacLaine is pictured filming "Downton Abbey" on February 21, 2012 in London, UK. The 77-year-old actress will be playing Martha Levinson, the mother of Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern) in the third season.

Photos by FameFlynet Pictures

More Spoiler News for Season 3

A new footman is coming to Downton Abbey ... one who is very closely connected to O'Brien.
With Thomas likely to become Lord Grantham's valet now that Bates is imprisoned, Downton hires a new footman named Alfred.
Digital Spy reports that Matt Milne (War Horse) will join the cast in Season 3 as Alfred, who also happens to be O'Brien's nephew!


Behind the scenes of the wedding in Season 3:

The cast of Downton Abbey gathered in Oxfordshire, England on March 5th to film the much talked-about wedding scene between Mary and Matthew (cousins, but lovers) for season three.  From the looks of things on the set, it appears that nuptials went on as planned.

Photos by FameFlynet Pictures
Is that Shirley MacLaine in that car?
I believe so! :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Michelle - Holidays At Home Are Great - TV advert

Michelle Dockery, Stephen Fry, Rupert Grint and Julie Walters talk us through some of their favorite places in the UK.

Behind the Scenes

Screen caps by Kelly/Taiko. 
Top photo from 
Videos from enjoyenglanduk on YouTube

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Season 3 - Dan & Michelle in car

Dan and Michelle filming a scene for season 3

Click pictures for larger size

Michelle Dockery in Paris

Michelle is at the Miu Miu Fashion Show in Paris today.