After the Christmas special of Downton Abbey, the big question on everyone’s lips is will Matthew and Mary get married?
Series three, which will be on our screens next month, starts off teasing that question all the way through the first episode. Mary and Matthew find themselves in the thick of all the drama, with twists and turns that right up until the very last minute, you will still be left wondering what the future holds for these two star-crossed lovers.
Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew, and Michelle Dockery who plays Lady Mary, discuss their characters and what the future holds for them in series three.
Dan said of the first episode: “Firstly its preparations for the wedding. Obviously we left after getting engaged at the end of the Christmas episode last year. And now he’s looking to settle down with Mary.
“It’s a question of whether they’re going to stick around or not. Matthew’s a bit iffy about staying in the house. I think he wants a certain amount of independence before taking on Downton. So I think it’s his idea that maybe they’ll go and live somewhere else. And then as the series progresses he gets a bit more involved with the estate and sees a few weak spots in the management.
“I think a lot of houses of about this time, throughout the last century had to reappraise the way they were doing things. You just have to accept that a lot of these houses were just eating into their capital.
But will Matthew o anything about it?
“There is a slight lack of sensitivity on Matthew’s part that I think, occasionally shows its face… well let’s just say he doesn’t always pick his moments in the best way. So, yes, that’s a big part of what he’s up to this year.
“His relationship with Mary has changed. They’ve both matured a little. I think it’s that growing sense of responsibility becoming more of a reality. The older they get the further on it goes and the more involved he gets in the estate.”
Michelle discussed the public’s reaction to them as characters, and as a couple:
“I guess she [Lady Mary] becomes a woman in the third series. The way it’s written it feels that even though Mary maintains that pragmatic side to her – which can be quite bossy at times – she’s really grown up. That’s highlighted in Edith and Mary’s relationship. I think it’s fair to say that things have softened between them. They look out for each other a little more. Of course, they still disagree on things, like sisters do, like sisters do. But Mary is a little more mature now.
“In the first few episodes people loved to hate her. She was very cold, she had this icy exterior and she was vile to her sister. Then, half way through the first series, after the incident with Pamuk (the Turkish diplomat who dies in her bed), she began to soften. Then in the second series you see the heart of the character much more beautiful because of course we were at war – every time she saw Matthew could have been the last. And I’ve loved that arc that Julian has written for her. Even in the third series it’s changing.
“In the first series it was like she was fighting against it. She shied away – she just wanted to go off and meet someone rich. This series, the thought of leaving Downton or Downton falling in to trouble is unthinkable to her. Because this is her legacy with Matthew: now it’s in her hands. And she feels the weight of that legacy more than ever before.”