Michelle Dockery: I almost ditched Downton

Michelle Dockery seriously considered dropping out of Downton Abbey.

The 33-year-old actress has played Lady Mary Crawley in the hit period drama since it began in 2010. With the TV series set to come to an end after six seasons this Christmas, it’s made Michelle reflect upon when she first accepted the job.

“At the start, we had no idea where it would go and how people would respond. I signed up for three series and there was definitely a moment when I considered not coming back for the fourth,” she admitted to UK’s Harper’s Bazaar. “We all had that option, and I’m glad I didn’t take it. When we’re here, it’s like nothing has changed: I’m in my trailer, I get dressed, I go to the house, I do acting and then I go home.”

Downton Abbey has propelled her into the spotlight, as well as fellow cast members Laura Carmichael and Joanne Froggatt. But it wasn’t easy for Michelle to handle the attention at first, as she suffered anxiety in the spotlight.

“I’ve finally realised that that stuff can be fun if you embrace it all, whereas initially I would get really nervous,” she added of red-carpet appearances. “I can be quite shy and I didn’t want to do anything except the acting. I found talking about myself especially difficult. But you learn that you don’t have to talk about your private life; you don’t have to please everyone.”

It’s a good job Michelle managed to work past her worries, as she’s also carved out a blossoming film career, starring in silver-screen hits including Non-Stop and Self/less.

– Cover Media