As you may know courtesy of reading this article, Jessica Brown Findlay is not going to be a part of “Downton Abbey” season 4. Why’s that? Well, the reason is actually fairly simple: her character of Lady Sybil is dead. It was one of the most stunning moments of the entire series, as before she gave birth to her daughter with Tom Branson, everyone assumed that she and her husband were just going to go about their early days as parents in the same sort of way that any parents would. Instead, we’re now being forced to watch Tom try and figure out this difficult and heartbreaking situation all on his own.
So why did Brown Findlay make the decision to leave the show, especially in a way that ensured that there would be nothing more for her on season 4 or any other season, for that matter? In an interview with the Telegraph to promote her new project “Labrynth,” the actress really just explained that she was rather happy with playing a part in from of tens of millions of viewers, but also felt the need to challenge herself as an actress more than she was at the time:
“I certainly didn’t make the decision flippantly. But at the same time I was much more afraid of becoming too comfortable in the role than I was of leaving it. I didn’t want to play Sybil for years and then discover it was the only thing I could do. That was a much more terrifying prospect than unemployment … I reasoned that there was nothing I could learn by staying on that I hadn’t learnt already. So I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers, and leapt into the abyss.”
While “Downton Abbey” has lost Jessica, Dan Stevens, and also Siobhan Finneran (whose character of Mrs. O’Brien is thankfully still alive), the series has already announced that including Tom Cullen, there are a multitude of other actors joining the show now that will hopefully make up for the departures.
Are you going to miss Sybil even more than you did at the end of season 3? If you have yet to hear some of Stevens’ recent comments about leaving “Downton Abbey” behind, you can do so by heading on over to the link here.