Guess what!? There is finally news confirming casting rumors and casting news: Downton Abbey, here we come! According to multiple sources, including Masterpiece – about Downton’s fourth season! (Plus some juicy character tidbits.) These picks- and their characters, have me giddy with anticipation, this I will confess. As always, any readers who wish to remain spoiler free of the final events of series three leading into the autumn premiere of series four… please do not read ahead! Those of you who don’t mind some jolly good Downton gossip and fun, please overflow the comments section!
Big shout-out to my lovely friend, Ruth A. for these – and for reminding me how exciting series four is going to be. *smile*
The new cast and their respective characters include:
+ Tom Cullen as Lord Gillingham, an old family friend of the Crawleys who visits the family as a guest for a house party
To quote Ruth, I don’t know who this dude is… but he is cute! (Mind you some of his movies are… um, not exactly “good.” We’ll leave it at that!)
+ Nigel Harman as Green, a valet
+ Dame Harriet Walter as Lady Shackleton, an old friend of the Dowager
+ Joanne David in a guest role as the Duchess of Yeovil
+ Julian Ovenden as aristocrat Charles Blake
Um, yes! This is totally awesome! How could anything possibly get better!? Always knew I had a soft spot for the character of Andrew Foyle. Andrew Foyle in the hallowed halls of Downton? Yes, please!
+ Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as a guest who sings in the house
Also here are some teases about the main character’s – including the departure of one (good riddance methinks) and the return of another:
Some big news out of the U.K. regarding “Downton Abbey,” fans. Siobhan Finneran, who plays the dastardly maid O’Brien on the hit British import, is not returning for Season 4.
Finneran tells the U.K.’s Press Association, “I’m not doing any more. O’Brien is a thoroughly despicable human being — that was great to play.”
A spokesperson for “Downton” confirms Finneran’s departure, though adds that it is understood the door is open for a possible return in the future. – Zap2It
Life after Matthew: Downton creator Julian Fellowes told Digital Spy that Matthew’s departure would dominate future episodes, adding that “Mary trying to rebuild her life” would be a key theme of Season 4. We’ve already read that she’ll be getting a new boyfriend. But, thankfully, we shouldn’t expect more major character deaths. “We don’t want it turning into Midsomer Murders, where they live in the same village and 450 people get murdered,” Julian laughed. So no other actors are allowed to suddenly leave the show!
What’s next for Anna & Bates? Now that Bates is free, Joanne Froggatt (Anna) teased at least a little bit of good news for the couple. “You certainly see Anna and Bates in times of happiness, which I think was well needed,” Anna told Zap2it, although she added that, of course, there will also be drama. “I’m afraid I can’t say much but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. As an actress you always want to play the drama.” Also, she said, Anna is getting a new look! “I get a slightly new hairstyle, very exciting!”
Best season yet? “We have just had the read-through for Series 4 today and I am thrilled with the whole thing, including Anna and Bates’s story,” Joanne continued. “I obviously can’t say more than that but I think it may be the best yet and there are certainly aspects of Anna’s character that have never been seen before … I think these scripts are the best yet. [Julian Fellowes] has done such an incredible job. ”
Edith’s independence: At the end of Season 3, Edith was in a strange position. Her editor confessed his love for her, but he’s married. Obviously her family doesn’t want her to be with a married man — Edith as a mistress?! — but Edith is going to make her own decisions, whether to be with him or not. Laura Carmichael told the Lancashire Evening Post that Edith is going to get feisty on Season 4. “She’s coming into her own a little bit,” Laura said. “ think after being jilted she’s thrown it all out the window, any ideas she did have in the first place and I think that’s been good for her. It’s given her a bit of independence and hotspur. I love playing her.” – Wetpaint
Also returning – at some point in series four is Shirley MacLaine.
Now, friends! What do you think of all this information? Do share any thoughts, opinions or speculation of series four! Would love to chat all about it. ♥