Following her on-screen husband’s death during last year’s Christmas Day special of Downton Abbey, Michelle Dockery has revealed that she is glad Lady Mary is now a widow as she gets to play her mean side again.
Fans of the award-winning ITV period drama will know how Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) was first introduced to us back in series one as a hard faced and sometimes callous vixen who enjoyed mocking her sisters and defying every rule set to her by her parents.
So much was she set on living her life her own way she wanted she committed the unthinkable crime of sex before, or without any intention of marriage only to have her lover drop down dead in her bed afterwards exposing her sins to her family and casting shame upon the grand estate.
That all changed, however, when her softer side began shining through after developing feelings for Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) who she later married.
However her joy and serenity was short lived as, whilst we all watched in horror, Matthew met his maker after a car crash, leaving Lady Mary a widow on the same day she gave birth to her first born child.
But, whilst most of us are still in mourning over the death, Michelle Dockery who plays Lady Mary has revealed to the Sun newspaper how she is pleased with the twist in her character’s story as it means she gets to revert back to her former, meaner self.
Discussing the future of her character with the publication Dockery explained:
“Mary is a very different character to who I am and she can be incredibly mean — and I really love playing those moments when she is.
“Yeah, it’s awful but I love being a bitch!
“I can be very shy but when I act I’m a complete extrovert and there is a kind of buzz about that and about losing control.
“That crazy, liberating thing of playing something that’s nothing like yourself — it’s what I love about it. I’m not really a bitch, I’m very nice! But it’s those parts of ourselves that we’re afraid of that we don’t tap into as much and that’s what’s so enjoyable about being an actor.”
However, she insists that she was upset by Matthew’s exit:
“Reading that particular episode I knew it was coming and really, for that character, there was no other way out. He couldn’t very well disappear off to America and have an affair or something — it had to be that brutal.
“That relationship between the characters we’ve all invested so much in meant it was shocking even just to read. And the reaction from viewers was astonishing.
“I was in floods of tears! It was devastating. Playing out those scenes was really emotional for Dan and I.
“But time moves on and what it’s done is opened up opportunities for Julian Fellowes to write something really different and what people weren’t expecting of the character.
“Actually, I think that it has made the show even better for the fourth series, much as I miss him.
“It has also given Julian the opportunity to write in new characters. So there is a flurry of new handsome suitors for Mary.”
Finally Dockery went on to express her admiration for her legendary co-star, the legendary Dame Maggie Smith, who plays her on-screen grandmother, The Dowager Countess in the hit series:
“Maggie has the gift of comic timing. She is so funny as her character but also off-screen.
“I have to really concentrate to not fall about laughing in a take. I’m a terrible corpser, so when she makes me laugh I find it difficult to keep my focus and I just lose it.
“Julian writes these one-liners for her in the show such as, ‘What is a weekend?’ but she does it in real life between takes as well.
“She’ll just constantly come out with these one-liners that make everyone laugh and Julian doesn’t even write them!”
The fourth series of Downton Abbey is due to hit our ITV screens this autumn – Watch the official trailer for it in the clip below: