Entries in Downton Abbey (5)


Downton Abbey Star Wears Wig to Cover Shaved Head

Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- The actor who plays the closeted gay under-butler Thomas Barrow on Downton Abbey says he’s been wearing a wig while filming the upcoming fourth season because he had to shave his head for another role.

Rob James-Collier told E! Online this week, “I shaved if off for a role where I played a crazy psychotic drug dealer.”

James-Collier says the wig he’s wearing while filming Downton Abbey costs more than $6,000. “It’s the king of wigs...As wigs go, it’s beautiful. And it means if I ever go bald, I can stick the wig on so I’ll always have work.”

As for his character, James-Collier reveals he finds a new “evil partner” in the fourth season because Miss O’Brien is no longer around. Siobhan Finneran, the actress who played Miss O’Brien, decided to leave the series.

The upcoming fourth season picks up with Lady Mary, played by Michelle Dockery, mothering a six-month-old son and mourning the loss her husband, Matthew, who died in a car crash.

Downton Abbey returns to the U.S. for its fourth season on January 5.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Shirley MacLaine to Return to "Downton Abbey"

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- After a third season in which the popular PBS series Downton Abbey lost two of its main characters, PBS is announcing the return of a familiar face and the addition of several new ones.

Shirley MacLaine, who appeared earlier this season as Martha Levinson, the outspoken mother of Cora, Countess of Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern), will return for season 4.

New additions to the cast include Tom Cullen, whose Lord Gillingam is described as “an old family friend of the Crawleys,” and Harriet Walter, who takes on the part of Lady Shackleton, “an old friend of the Dowager.”

Season 4 of the British class drama will also introduce aristocrat Charles Blake, played by Julian Ovenden. New Zealand-born opera star Kiri Te Kanawa — a real-life dame — will also appear as a guest of the Crawley family.

This past season, the show saw the shocking departures of Dan Stevens, who played Matthew Crawley, and Jessica Brown Findlay, who portrayed Lady Sybil.

Now it appears another familiar face may be leaving. Actress Siobhan Finneran, who plays housemaid Mrs. O’Brien, the character fans love to hate, will not be returning for the new season.

Finneran told the U.K.’s Daily Mirror last week, “I’m not doing any more, O’Brien is a thoroughly despicable human being — that was great to play.”

The fourth season will premiere in the U.K. next fall and in the U.S. the following winter.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


"Downton Abbey" Reaches Ratings High with Season Finale

Hemera/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The ratings for the season finale of Downton Abbey weren't shabby.

The third-season finale, which aired Sunday night on PBS, was seen by 8.2 million viewers, according to Variety.  It's the largest U.S. audience to date for the British drama, and a sizable increase from the 5.4 million who watched the second-season finale last February.

The latest season culminated with a shocking ending that we won't spoil for you, in case you're a fan who isn't caught up yet.

A fourth season of Downton Abbey is planned.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


"Downton Abbey" Actress, Maggie Smith, Says She's Never Watched the Show

Stuart Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The dowager would presumably not be amused. Maggie Smith, who plays the cantankerous elder Lady Grantham on Downton Abbey says she has never watched the series.

Smith made the confession to Steve Kroft of CBS’s 60 Minutes. The segment will be broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 17 to coincide with the final episode of Downton’s Season 3, which airs on PBS later that evening.

The veteran actress said she’s amazed by the popularity of the period drama and is proud of it, but has never “actually seen it.” When Kroft asked, “Never?” she replied, “No, I haven’t watched it.”


Smith’s excuse for not having seen the popular drama is she would only agonize over her own performance.

“Because it’s frustrating. I always see things I would do differently and think, ‘Oh, why in the name of God did I do that?’” she said.

During her distinguished career, the 78-year-old actress has won two Oscars, three Emmys and a Tony award. Smith has appeared in many memorable films, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, the Harry Potter films and recently in Quartet, directed by Dustin Hoffman.

“I don’t feel any different to the way I felt before and I’m not quite sure what [being a star] means,” Smith said, speaking of her heightened celebrity since taking on the role of Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham. "I am familiar to people now, which is what I was not before. That is entirely due to the television set.”

When asked about her reputation for being an on-set perfectionist, she puts it down to her age.

“You’re trying to say that I am what everybody says…I’m scary and I understand totally,” she said. “Old people are scary and I have to face it, I am old and I am scary and I am very sorry about it, but I don’t know what you do.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


iTunes Giving "Downton Abbey" Fans a Sneak Peek

Apple(NEW YORK) -- For fans of Downton Abbey sick of spoilers from across The Pond, Apple has a spot of relief: the company announced iTunes season pass holders will be able to see the current third season's last three episodes before they air here on PBS.

Because the hit drama is produced in the U.K. and airs there first, fans Stateside often find themselves tripping over spoilers online.  Every episode of season three has already aired overseas, and details about the fourth season, which is in production in the U.K. are already starting to leak -- but Apple's announcement will help plug at least some plot leaks.

The third season finale is scheduled to air on Feb. 17.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio