Downton’s Jessica can’t wait for MacLaine

Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown-Findlay can’t wait to see Shirley MacLaine and Dame Maggie Smith acting together.

The Hollywood star is joining the hit ITV show’s third series as Martha Levinson, the mother of Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern), and Jessica’s character Lady Sybil’s grandmother.

Jessica said: “I’m really excited. It’s going to be hilarious, just these two unbelievable actresses in one room, Maggie and Shirley.

“It’s going to be really good fun. I’m really looking forward to it, what a great person to have in the cast.”

Downton Abbey is now a huge hit in the US as well after winning a Golden Globe.

Jessica said: “It’s wild. I was in LA last week and people had told me that a lot of people liked it over there, but I had absolutely no concept that the hype was as realistic as it actually is. People are REALLY into it.”

Her character Lady Sybil has moved to Ireland after marrying chauffeur Branson and has become a mother.

But Jessica is hoping Sybil remains a wild child in the next series.

She said: “I want to dance a Charleston. That would be cool. We’ll see.”