Downton Abbey: Elizabeth McGovern and Jessica Brown-Findlay excited about working with Shirley Maclaine

by Lynn Connolly

Downton Abbey stars Elizabeth McGovern and Jessica Brown-Findlay, who play the roles of Lady Cora Crawley and Lady Sybil Crawley respectively, have both revealed that they can’t wait to film scenes with US acting legend, Shirley Maclaine.

As we reported a while ago, Shirley joins the cast for the third series, and is expected to play the role of one of Lady Cora’s American relatives.

However, while speaking to the press at the recent London Evening Standard British Film Awards 2012, Elizabeth also remarked that she hopes Downton doesn’t run on past its “sell-by date.”

Of that, she said, “I don’t think Downton can run for forever and I would hate to see it running past its sell-by date.

“I think the intention is to keep it going for as long as we feel that it’s really good and giving the audience what they deserve…

“When it really starts not living up to its own ambition then I’d like to call it a day.”

But of the new series, and of Shirley Maclaine starring in it, Elizabeth said, “I’ve read the first five episodes and it’s going to be good.

“I can’t wait for Shirley to join. I think she’s one of the greats.”

And that’s a sentiment echoed by Jessica Brown-Findlay who told the PA that she “can’t wait” to see Shirley acting alongside British veteran actress Maggie Smith, who of course plays the Dowager Duchess.

Jessica said, “I’m really excited. It’s going to be hilarious, just these two unbelievable actresses in one room, Maggie and Shirley.

“It’s going to be really good fun. I’m really looking forward to it, what a great person to have in the cast.”

Jessica also took a moment to acknowledge how well Downton Abbey has been received in the States.

She said of the Golden Globe winning show, “It’s wild. I was in LA last week and people had told me that a lot of people liked it over there, but I had absolutely no concept that the hype was as realistic as it actually is.

“People are REALLY into it.”

And of what lies ahead in the new series for Lady Sybil, Jessica remained tight lipped, saying only, “I want to dance a Charleston. That would be cool. We’ll see.”

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.