Ahead of the fourth series of Downton Abbey hitting our ITV screens this autumn, several of the period drama’s cast have been discussing what lies ahead for their characters, and among them is gorgeous star MyAnna Buring who plays ambitious maid Edna Braithwaite…
As fans of the show may recall, after Edna Braithwaite was fired in somewhat spectacular fashion in the series three Christmas episode, no-one, including MyAnna, expected her to appear at Downton ever again.
However, appear she did, and of that, MyAnna said, “I had no idea I’d be returning! It was amazing, just such lovely news because I thought that was it…
“I couldn’t see how she could come back given the circumstances under which she left last time…
“I thought it wouldn’t be possible. But really sweetly, Julian [Fellowes] and the producers felt there was more of a story to get from Edna, so I got invited back.”
That story involves, perhaps inevitably, Tom Branson (Allen Leech). But first Edna has to wheedle her way back in to the household.
MyAnna remarked, “At the beginning of series four, Lady Cora finds herself without a lady’s maid, and Edna, ever ambitious, spots an opportunity to sneak her way past Mrs Hughes and back into Downton Abbey.
“Let’s just say she is full of natural charm and uses that to great effect.”
Back in the house, Edna sets about working her way up once again.
She continued, “Edna’s somebody who has dreams far above her station. She sees in Branson somebody who’s realised those dreams, and she hopes that one day, she can realise her own.”
In some ways ‘Evil Edna’ conducts her scheming around the house almost like a female version of Thomas Barrow, but MyAnna thinks there’s more to Edna than that.
She said, “I think she fantasises about a life where she’s waited upon as opposed to waiting on anyone else. And in a way who can blame her? Why not have those dreams?
“She’s somebody who’s breaking the mould by trying to do something about it, as opposed to most people not even daring to dream.
“I think there’s a naivety about her that’s almost endearing. She doesn’t understand why she wouldn’t be able to have what she sees other people having, and in particular Branson.
“He’s stepped over that class boundary. Why shouldn’t she?”
However, her attitude to Branson has changed since she was last fired from the staff:
MyAnna said, “When they met during the Christmas episode, I think she definitely had this sort of romantic view that this could be love.
“Though I think she’s much more pragmatic this time round, believing that they can be allies and help one another. She fantasises about him in that way, as opposed to a romantic way.”
We’ll have more Downton goodness in the run-up to the new series debut, so don’t nobody go nowhere!
For now, here’s a reminder of the series four trailer…