Michelle Dockery |  “Downton Abbey changed my life”

Michelle Dockery | “Downton Abbey changed my life”

British comedian Michelle Dockery’s life changed in 2010, the day the first episode of the cult series aired, downton abbey. Twelve years later, she is still found as Lady Mary Crawley in the film Downton Abbey: A New Era, which opens on Friday. Interview.

We have this irresistible urge to call her Lady Mary when we see her appear on our screen in video conference. Thanks to this character who embodies in downton abbeyMichelle Dockery’s life has been turned upside down.

Du jour au lendemain, elle est devenue une star ; la série qui met en scène une famille d’aristocrates et leurs domestiques dans le château de Downton Abbey a connu un grand succès dans le monde entier pendant six saisons, de 2010 à 2015.

Quand on est actrice, on se dit qu’il y a toujours un moment où notre carrière bascule, et Downton Abbey a changé ma vie. Encore aujourd’hui, les gens sont parfois surpris de ne pas me voir en costume d’époque de Lady Mary ! Les fans de la série sont tellement dévoués !

Dès la première lecture du scénario, elle est tombée sous le charme de ce personnage de jeune aristocrate un peu snob, arrogante parfois. « Je l’aime tellement, dit-elle. Ma référence était Kristin Scott Thomas dans Gosford Park [réalisé par Robert Altman]a film written by Julian Fellowes, creator of the series.

“I love Lady Mary, she is stubborn, she is a spoiled child. But the more the years go by and the more she evolves, because she goes through hardships. She is a complex character. that’s the beauty of downton abbey, since all the characters are complex and nuanced. »


British actress Michelle Dockery at the premiere of Downton Abbey: A New Era in London on April 25

“When we were shooting the first season, we knew we were making a quality show, because Julian Fellowes had won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for gosford park in 2002. But we could never have predicted this phenomenal success,” he recalls.

The actress recalls that the series was very well received in the United Kingdom, but it was when the broadcast began in the United States that everything changed. “He went absolutely insane. He was 27 years old, he opened doors for me, of course. I had other roles thanks to the success of the series, and he has been like this for 12 years. That’s what’s amazing. »

Michelle Dockery notably played in Guy Ritchie’s film The Knightsthe series defending jacob and more recently in anatomy of a scandal, Netflix series where she plays a Crown prosecutor while a government minister is accused of rape. “Lady Mary could have been this lawyer a century later, because she is confident, witty and eloquent. She would have been great,” she laughs.

adapt to change

Inside Downton Abbey: A New EraWe meet the Crawley family, part of which heads to the south of France to solve the mystery of a villa’s inheritance and the other receives a film crew to invade the castle.


Director Simon Curtis and Michelle Dockery during the filming of the film Downton Abbey: A New Era

It is Lady Mary who takes care of the stars that arrive and all the unforeseen events that arise during filming. “The movie is funny and, at the same time, full of emotions,” she says. This film is also, as the title suggests, the transition to a new era.

“The New World is represented by this shameless film crew shooting in the castle who are not at all impressed by this magnificent setting. It has no value in their eyes. That is the change, the new era”, explains Michelle Dockery.

“Others, like my father, Lord Grantham, and Mr. Carson, the butler who runs the house, are very averse to modernity and don’t want the world to change. Lady Mary is intrigued by the work of this film crew, which she watches closely. “She finds out that she loves it and she’s almost going to become a producer, she’s so into it! »

Lady Mary adapts to change. We are in 1928, it is the end of a decade, we are facing the crisis of 1929 and the 1930s, the Second World War is approaching. There is a feeling that another world is coming and it is the end of an era.

Michelle Dockery

Michelle Dockery was delighted to find the entire team at downton abbeywhom he considers family.

“We are very close, we grew up together for 12 years. Some actors were in their twenties, like me, when the adventure began. These characters and actors are a part of our lives, and Maggie Smith is so much fun! She is a real treat! »

in theaters friday

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