Admiring Michelle Dockery Sun, 22 Sep 2013 14:37:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Dockery: Lady Mary won’t struggle Sun, 22 Sep 2013 14:37:53 +0000 Michelle Michelle Dockery has admitted she was pleased when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gave their son the same name as her baby in Downton Abbey.

The actress plays Lady Mary Crawley, who called her first-born child George on screen just months before William and Kate did the same in real life. And having heard that the royal couple are big fans of the hit ITV show, Michelle revealed she was pleased as punch.

“It was quite amazing that day, when the royals named their baby George,” she laughed. “They’re fans of the show, apparently, so who knows!”

Michelle revealed that in the upcoming fourth series of the drama, fans will see Lady Mary struggling to bond with her baby, following husband Matthew’s death in a car crash.

“She is quite detached,” said the actress. “She finds it difficult to bond with the baby at first, because he reminds her of Matthew, but I don’t think Mary was ever going to be a cooey mother. I think she’ll be a good parent, but she won’t be an incredibly maternal one.”

But Michelle, 31, said Mary is still in a far more privileged position than her peers.

“Because of the position she’s in within the aristocracy, she wouldn’t have spent that much time with her children. You have a nanny and governess to take care of everything, so she’s not exactly a struggling single mother,” she said.

The new series will see some new potential suitors for Lady Mary. They will include an old chum – Lord Gillingham – played by Tom Cullen, jazz singer Jack Ross from Chicago, played by Gary Carr, and the belligerent Charles Blake, played by Julian Ovenden.

“Mary’s coming out of her grief slowly and, of course, there are new suitors invited to the house,” said Michelle. “Inevitably, she needs to move on at some point, because of her position, and because she now has the heir to Downton.”


]]> 0
BAFTA LA TV Tea 2013 Party Sun, 22 Sep 2013 14:36:55 +0000 Michelle

Pics to come!

]]> 0
First Clip from Downton Abbey Season 4 Premiere Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:53:38 +0000 Michelle

]]> 0
Downton Abbey Season 4 Press Day Interview Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:42:04 +0000 Michelle

]]> 0
‘Downton Abbey’ Season 4 Press Pack Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:41:21 +0000 Michelle Michelle Dockery Plays Lady Mary
The last series of Downton Abbey began with Lady Mary in a wedding dress. This series begins with her in widow’s weeds. It’s six months after Matthew’s death and she’s still in full mourning.

“Normally three months after someone’s passed away the women would start to change into lilacs and greys and purples but Mary is refusing, even after six months, to change out of anything but black. Everyone around her is trying to bring her out of this dark spell that she’s under. In the first episode there’s an almost fairytale-like quality to things… like a sort of spell that’s been cast over Downton. It’s even shot in that way, very grey and bleak. And it only really begins to thaw when she comes out of mourning.”

The family and staff are all concerned. Several of them try to lift her out of her grief, through parties and trying to get her to meet new people.

“But she can’t move on and I don’t think Mary will for a long time. Matthew’s still very much in her thoughts.”

This stands in stark contrast to Mary’s prevailing mood throughout series three. She was settled and happy and she had a future ahead of her, until her world was turned on its head. But Dockery says that the death of Matthew has opened up new opportunities for her character.

“Initially, when we read the storyline with Matthew’s death we all thought, ‘What will happen now?’ But it has taken things down a completely different avenue. Series four is a complete contrast to series three. And I’m still discovering so many sides to her character. I like how in the first few episodes of series four Mary is retreating to being quite cold again like she was in series one. In a slightly more grown up way and for very different reasons, she was quite a superficial, spoilt brat in the first series but now she’s changed. It’s through the grief really.”

Mary may be reluctant to move on, but that doesn’t stop certain parties from trying to persuade her.

“Let’s face it,” says Dockery, “Mary obviously doesn’t find relationships easy. She can be quite tough, she’s not a walkover so it will take quite a strong man to handle her and we saw that storyline play out with Matthew and Mary – in the end he sort of tamed her a bit.”

Where Matthew had challenged Robert about the management of the estate, that task now falls to Mary.

“It’s a lot to take on and Lord Grantham is quite tough with Mary at first. Because she’s a woman as well he’s not quite sure she’s capable of taking on that responsibility. She puts up a fight when she thinks that he’s making the wrong decision or he needs to be a bit more open minded about something. So that’s another lovely aspect of the story for me – the relationship, again, with Lord Grantham and that struggle she has with her father.”

Finally, of course, Mary now has a baby, George, to contend with.

“Actually in the beginning Mary finds it very difficult to bond with George because she sees Matthew in him. But gradually that starts to change.”

It’s meant that Dockery has had to learn how to play mum.

“George is actually twins and they are just gorgeous. Luckily they are very good. They are very quiet and they seem to enjoy it even at that age.”

But if the babies on set have been merely a minor distraction, a much greater diversion has been the presence of a new game that has taken the green room by storm.

“Bananagrams is a bit like Scrabble. Tom Cullen (who plays Lord Gillingham) brought it with him and we all love it. It sort of keeps your brain alive between set ups. Pretty much everyone’s playing.”

And dare we ask who is the Bananagram champion?

“Maggie’s very good. And Laura’s very good. Me? I get good days and bad days.”

]]> 0
Emmy watch: ‘Downton’s’ Michelle Dockery sings out about her role Tue, 10 Sep 2013 12:27:26 +0000 Michelle I’m sitting in a Beverly Hills ballroom with Michelle Dockery. We’re the only two people in the room, which, though, lacking in grandeur, is large enough for a “Downton Abbey” soiree.

“I’ll need to project my voice,” says the British actress, surveying the scene.

Having grown up middle-class, Dockery’s accent isn’t as posh as that of her character’s on the hit series. In “Downton,” she plays Lady Mary, the eldest daughter of the Crawley family, owners of the vast country estate.

For most of the first three years of the show, Mary has had a decidedly “upstairs” attitude. On the other hand, Dockery — who is nominated for an Emmy as best actress in a series — comes across as pretty salt of the earth.

Created by Julian Fellowes, “Downton,” which is aired in more than 100 countries, is one of the of the most watched shows in the world and has a dedicated fan base. Now “Downton” fans are in a tizzy wondering what will happen to Lady Mary after the shocking Season 3 finale, in which her husband, Matthew (Dan Stevens) is killed in a car crash shortly after she has just given birth to their son and Downton heir.

“It’s an interesting season,” muses the 31-year-old actress, who only had a couple more days of shooting left in Season 4 when we talked. “It’s such a change – again – for the character. She’s gone through all these ups and downs. She started off quite hard and then she softened and finally got her man. Now that it’s all gone, she’s almost reverted back to being very cold again, which I admit I have enjoyed playing.”

Matthew’s death, says Dockery, sets off a domino effect of changes for the new season, which begins airing in Britain on Sept. 22, but not in the U.S. until next Jan.5.

For the record, Stevens’ departure was his own choice. His contract was up and he decided not to renew it, feeling that “Downton’s” six-month shooting schedule didn’t allow him enough time to pursue other roles. Fellowes had him go in dramatic fashion, though.

“I just felt I wasn’t ready to finish,” says Dockery, who had the same option. “It was sad to hear that Dan was going, but it also opened some storytelling opportunities for Julian.”

While the massive success of the series is as a surprise to her as it was to many people, Dockery says she can understand it. She, herself, was a “Sex and the City” devotee.

“I was completely addicted to it,” she says. ”I’d watch certain episodes when certain things were going on in my life and I felt those were comforting.”

The actress even dressed up as Miranda to go with her sisters and friends to the first “Sex” movie.

“I loved the clothes and the style. New York was so alien to me, being a Brit. And while I loved Miranda, Carrie always had the great clothes.”

Dockery believes “Downton” is comforting in its own way to fans. She credits Fellowes’ ability to write for 18 different characters as a key to the show.

“It doesn’t hang on one storyline too long. I think it’s more than just the nostalgia that people love about it. It’s the romance,” she adds.

The look of the show, the design of the costumes, and the endless views across the rolling hills are also important to its appeal, she says.

“We even wear two different shades of stockings so that the color is absolutely right and the seam goes right up the back like in the 1920s.”

When I raise my eyebrows and remark, “really,” she smiles and says, “So now you’ll be looking at our stockings.”

Fans of the actress will get a chance to see her in the first two parts of “The Hollow Crown,” the adaptation of four historical plays by William Shakespeare, which begins airing on PBS Sept. 20. She plays a lord’s wife whose husband is killed in battle.

“I’m only taking roles where I become a widow,” she deadpans.

Dockery will also star in the thriller “Non-Stop” with Liam Neeson, due out early next year.

At some point, the actress wouldn’t mind taking on a singing role. Though she’s played Eliza Doolittle in Peter Hall’s production of “Pygmalion,” she’s never been in “My Fair Lady” or in any musical. Earlier this year, she performed at the London Jazz Festival, although she doesn’t consider herself just a jazz singer.

“I do other genres as well.”

When I ask what she is listening to, she pulls out her iPhone to check her top 25 most played list, mentioning British singer Jessie Ware, Canadian Feist and Argentine-Swedish indie folkie Jose Gonzalez as some of her current favs. Dockery loves how fellow Brit Hugh Laurie has embarked on a musical career since “House” went off the air.

“I saw him live last year and it really inspired me. I’d love to do something like that and just dedicate my life to music, but you can’t do it halfheartedly.”

Dockery also admires her Emmy competition.

“It’s wonderful to be in a category along with such a brilliant women,” she says. “I love ‘Mad Men.” It’s so much about the women. It should be called ‘Mad Women.’” (Elizabeth Moss is a fellow nominee.)

“I feel like we’re in this fantastic time of TV roles written for women,” she adds. “There is this complexity about them. That’s what I love about ‘Homeland’ and Carrie (played by Claire Danes, who is also nominated.)”

Meanwhile, the actress is excited about decorating her new place.

“It’s my next project. I love this website called Apartment Therapy. It gives private tours of peoples’ houses and it gives me my ideas. I think I might’ve done something in that area had I not been an actor or gone into music.”

Lately, Dockery has been seen in Italy with a new beau, which has given the British tabloids something to speculate about. But in a couple of weeks, she will be back in Los Angeles for the Emmys (Sept. 22).

“I really enjoyed going the last two years and all of the events leading up to it. It’s really good fun,” she said.

Like a lot of people, though, she thinks it’s a shame that “Downton” doesn’t air in the U.S. when it does in Britain, making it hard to keep secrets about what happens on the series. Still, the question will be: Will Mary find love again?

“I think eventually she will,” says Dockery. “Julian has been very careful about her moving on too quickly, which I think you owe the audience because they invested so much into the Mary-Matthew romance.

“Like anyone who’s lost someone, she will never get over it. It’s finding ways of living and starting again. Essentially, that is what the fourth series is about for Mary. For a minute she had everything, and then it was all shattered.”


]]> 0
Downton Abbey Season 4 on Masterpiece – Sneak Peek Tue, 10 Sep 2013 12:26:01 +0000 Michelle

]]> 0
More ‘Downton’ Series 4 Promotional Images + Behind the Scenes Tue, 10 Sep 2013 12:24:59 +0000 Michelle

Thank you Nicole! =)

]]> 0
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tue, 10 Sep 2013 12:21:47 +0000 Michelle

Thank you to Nicole!

]]> 0
2013 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Tue, 10 Sep 2013 12:03:58 +0000 Michelle

Thank you Nicole!

]]> 0