Get excited: Downton Abbey is back with a new movie featuring most of its familiar faces, including elegant yet snobby Lady Mary, her crotchety yet lovable father, Robert Crawley, and his mother, the witty, sharp-tongued Violet Crawley. And then there are the new faces in this latest oeuvre from creator Julian Fellowes. Some we might recognize but can’t quite place, while a few may be weekly regulars on your TV screen. Here’s a rundown of the newbies to know in Downton Abbey: A New Era.
Hugh Dancy as Jack Barber
His Downton Debut: Barber is a movie director who wants to shoot his latest film, The Gambler, at Downton Abbey; he works closely with Lady Mary, challenging her in more ways than one.
Where You Know Him From: After appearing on several British TV series, Dancy’s big Hollywood break came with 2001’s Black Hawk Down. Currently, fans know him as E.A.D.A. Nolan Price on Law & Order.
Fun Fact: If you haven’t seen Dancy on the big or small screen, perhaps you’ve seen him on the red carpet with his wife of 13 years, Claire Danes. The two met on the set of the movie Evening and have two sons together, Cyrus (9) and Rowan (3).
Laura Haddock as Myrna Dalgleish
Her Downton Debut: Dalgleish is a stunning film star that fills theaters thanks to her looks, but not her manners, as the Downton crew quickly learns, but when the talkies take over the film industry, she needs a career reassessment.
Where You Know Her From: Guardians of the Galaxy (one and two) and Transformers: The Last Knight; she has appeared in many British TV shows and mini-series, most recently 2020’s White Lines.
Fun Fact: What are her favorite movies? She considers some of Nora Ephron’s films — Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally — among her top picks.
Dominic West as Guy Dexter
His Downton Debut: He’s the suave and friendly leading man in The Gambler who makes a lasting connection with one of the Downton staff.
Where You Know Him From: The Wire and The Affair. He’s taking over the role of Prince Charles for the next season of Netflix’s The Crown.
Fun Fact: West (married with five children) and his Pursuit of Love costar Lily James made headlines in 2020 when paparazzi captured the two canoodling on location in Rome. Coincidentally, James was a Downton regular as cousin Lady Rose, appearing in 21 episodes of the show from 2012 to 2015. Another screen connection is with Imelda Staunton, who reprises her role as Maud Bagshaw in Downton and will take on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown.
Nathalie Baye as Madame de Montmirail
Her Downton Debut: She plays the widow of a marquis that spends every winter at their villa in the South of France. She is less than enthused when her husband’s will states that the villa goes to another woman.
Where You Know Her From: This celebrated French actress’s career has spanned five decades. Most Americans will know her as Leonardo DiCaprio’s mother in Catch Me if You Can and for appearing as herself on Netflix’s Call My Agent.
Fun Fact: She has been nominated for 10 Cèsar Awards (the French equivalent to the Oscar) and has won four times, the second-highest number for any actress. Her daughter, Laura Smet, has also received a Cèsar.
Jonathan Zaccai as Marquis de Montmirail
His Downton Debut: Unlike his mother, he welcomes the Crawley entourage to the South of France and plays the gracious host.
Where You Know Him From: Though this Belgian actor has done most of his work across the pond, most notably in the TV series The Bureau, he did star as King Philip of France in 2010’s Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe.
Fun Fact: He follows Queen Elizabeth II on Instagram and calls her brilliant and sweet.
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