So is Julian Fellowes genuinely upset over the decisions of some of his actors to leave “Downton Abbey”? While it has not created the easiest of situations leading up to the start of season 4 production, he ultimately seems to be a man with a great deal of respect for his stars, and thus is not particularly angry with them when they make decisions that don’t necessarily line up with his own interests. (Warning: the following contains spoilers.)
You may be very aware already that Dan Stevens actually had an option at the eleventh hour to return to the show rather than be killed off, but even with this (and an opportunity to have his role reduced) the actor still said no.
While Fellowes does not get into great detail on the subject in an interview with Digital Spy concerning Stevens’ exit, he does admit that there was a difference of opinion in that he very much wanted to have him on the show moving forward:
“I’m not going to criticize him. It’s a very funny career to try to make any sense of as I only know too well … And when you definitely feel like something is the right move you’ve got to do it. But I was very sad.”
As for what may be more surprising news from the interview, Fellowes hinted that we could be seeing Shirley MacLaine making a return appearance in season 4 as Cora’s American mother Martha after she was apart of the first two episodes during season 3. We found her enjoyable and a nice bit of casting to publicize the show, but we also must admit that her role felt over-hyped versus the amount of screen time that she actually had.
Ultimately, what’s your take both on Stevens leaving and on MacLaine possibly coming back? We want to hear more of your thoughts below, and you can read some more “Downton Abbey” season 4 scoop on Michelle Dockery here.