Lady Mary in Downton Abbey (ITV, Sunday) has had an eventful series already this year, but this week, she finds herself facing questions from the police, when they ask her about her maid Anna’s whereabouts on the day of Green’s death.
So what’s happening with Anna?
“It’s all simmering and we know Mary is involved because she destroyed a train ticket to London, but she really looks out for Anna and confides in her and she is also sympathetic to her feelings for Bates. That relationship between above and below stairs has always been the important through-line to the show.”
And what’s happening with Mary’s love life now that she has dumped Tony and seems to be going back to Charles?
“She made a decision but changed her mind, but she can’t be flippant because it is her future and whoever it turns out to be has to take on a lot of responsibility for Downton and her son George. It was never going to be a quick decision for her.”
She seems to be bantering more with Edith again?
“Yes, while they were grieving for Matthew and Sybil, they were civil, but now Mary has her wit and spark back, they’re in full flow again. Laura and I get excited about those scenes where we spit at each other. It’s hilarious and hard to keep a straight face being mean to one of your best mates.”
Mary can be quite cold, why do viewers love her?
“She began the show as a spoiled aristocrat and then the incident happened with the Turkish diplomat and the audience suddenly saw a vulnerable side to her that wasn’t expected. She can be unkind, but she is complex, human and she makes mistakes. She is resilient too and I love that she lives in the moment.”
Do you still get star-struck when you meet famous Downton fans?
“It’s overwhelming when someone you’ve admired for years tells you they love Downton. Edie Falco did that at the Emmys last year and I could barely speak, because I just adore her.”