It seems that the bosses of hit period drama Downton Abbey have been “thrown into crisis” as a number of the female cast of the ITV1 show are being tempted to begin careers in Hollywood.
And of course, were actors such as Michelle Dockery and Laura Carmichael – who play the roles of Lady Mary and Lady Edith Crawley – to leave, there would need to be either significant rewrites or new actresses brought in to play the roles.
According to the Daily Mirror today, Downton stars Joanne Froggatt and Jessica Brown Findlay – who star as maid Anna and Crawley sister Sybil – have also been inundated with offers of movie roles, so the exodus could become somewhat catastrophic for the show.
A show source said, “The girls are the toast of Hollywood right now and people are scrambling to work with them…
“America loves an English rose. All the ladies are popular over in the States and interest levels are high.
“They’re being advised to look at all the offers on the table and if the right job comes up then they won’t return.
“They have to think about their careers first and they were not on great contracts with Downton.
“The agents they’re with know they can achieve more money. And they also know that the girls are young and need to take advantage of the position they’re in.
“There is life outside Downton.”
He said recently, “I am sure there will be a fourth series, yes, although it hasn’t yet been confirmed officially.
“But it’s a definite ‘yes’ in my heart and I would be writing it and I have a pretty good idea of what I would do with it too.”
Insiders also fear that Dame Maggie Smith, who plays feisty matriarch Violet, could decide to retire at any time, but Fellowes has insisted that if she does, Dowager Countess Violet won’t leave Downton in a box.
He said, “Dame Maggie will be in this show for as long as she wants to be and I can tell you that even if she doesn’t want to be (her character) won’t die, she’ll go to the seaside just in case she wants to come back.”
Downton Abbey’s third series airs in the autumn on ITV1.