Michelle Dockery has said she feels Downton Abbey fans have followed the franchise for the past 12 years as they find it “comforting” and the new film will be like “seeing old friends again”.
The actress who plays Lady Mary is reprising her role in the upcoming movie sequel Downton Abbey: A New Era alongside series stars Dame Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville.
The highly-anticipated cinematic return of the historical drama will take the beloved characters on a grand journey to the south of France to unravel the mystery of the widow Countess’ newly inherited mansion while trying to escape a film crew in Downton.
Dockery told the PA news agency on the red carpet at the film’s world premiere in central London that she felt the historical drama’s appeal stemmed from “many things”.
She said: “I feel like I have a different answer to that every time, but ultimately I think people find it really comforting.
“I think it’s like seeing old friends again.”
Downton Abbey began as a television series, broadcast on ITV from 2010 to 2015, following the fortunes of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants on the ground floor of a country estate in Yorkshire.
The first film to be released in 2019 followed a royal visit to the Crawley family and Downton staff.
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Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Cora Crawley, also had fans reflecting on the longevity of the franchise.
She told PA: “I think it’s a real escape for her, especially at this time when every news seems to be more depressing than the last.
“This is a movie that just puts its arms around you and hugs you and gives you a little reprieve.”
The characters will see the outside world come to Downton when a silent film star, played by Dominic West, comes to film a film at the mansion.
McGovern added that the film crew that moved to Downton was an element of the “real world knocking on the door” but in a way that’s more “fun and entertainment” than the “wheels of history.”
The new Downton Abbey film will also star Laura Carmichael and Joanne Froggatt, while new cast members include West, Laura Haddock and Hugh Dancy.
Downton Abbey: A New Era hits UK cinemas on April 29.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/michelle-dockery-reflects-on-downton-abbeys-appeal-over-the-last-12-years-41587416.html Michelle Dockery reflects on Downton Abbey’s appeal over the past 12 years