I don’t know about you guys, but I still have some feelings left up in the air about Downton Abbey. First of all, I’m like, “When is that god-forsaken series coming back?” and second of all I’m like, “Why did you have to do that to my heart, Dan Stevens?”
I’m not gonna get into the whole thing, because it’s still too painful, but basically he decided to leave the show, and because of that, his character Matthew had to be written off in a way that was particularly difficult for those of us who (like me) have emotions and tear ducts.
And now Michelle Dockery‘s character Mary is alone! So alone with a little baby! And I’d expect her to be just as indignant as I am, since we’ve spent all those hours on Netflix together, but apparently she isn’t. She has the dual magical gifts of maturity and empathy, which I lack, and not only did she have advanced notice that he was leaving, but she totally gets why he did:
“I knew quite early on, before we started series three. Everyone knew when we started series three that he wasn’t coming back. We didn’t really know where the story line was going, but we were all predicting it would be that finite.”
And why is that?
“Because Matthew is the heir, so it was impossible to do anything else, really, other than having him die because he couldn’t very well disappear and run off with another woman [laughs]. Also, I think Julian didn’t want to make the Christmas special be all about the death of Matthew, which is why I think it happened very, very quickly at the end. Quite shocking.”
YES VERY SHOCKING. Except if you live in America and can’t shield yourself from the blizzard of information coming over from the UK, since they saw it months and months before we did.
“The thing is, we all had that choice, and any one of us could have left. There was a point where I thought, Yeah, I’m done after three, because that’s what I was expecting to happen: I would do three series and that would be it. And then of course the success of the show was huge and I had my doubts. I discovered there isn’t any rush. I wasn’t ready to finish whereas Dan was very ready to leave. But Dan has done some great work in the space of time since he’s left. He’s already got three films he’s doing, so for him it was the right decision.”