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‘Downton Abbey’’s Lady Mary warns fans may shed a tear at the “emotional” new film

Focus Features/Ben Blackall

Downton is back! The new film Downton Abbey: A New Era is in theaters now, and actress Michelle Dockery – who has been with the series since season one – warns that fans may shed a tear or two.

“It’s very emotional," she tells ABC Audio. "I feel like you could cry laughing as well, there’s lots of emotions in this film.”

Those emotions made Dockery work hard to stay in character as Lady Mary, who is known for her snide observations and cold demeanor. “The challenge is sometimes holding it back as Michelle and trying to stay like Lady Mary ... a bit more stoic, and not blubber.”

A New Era is the sequel to 2019’s smash hit Downton Abbey, which saw the beloved Crawley family all follow one singular plot of welcoming the king and queen of England into their estate. In this film, the cast gets split into two – with half journeying to a home in the south of France, and the others holding down the fort while a film crew shoots at Downton.

“Downton has always been visually very cinematic, even in the TV show. So that transition from the small screen to the big screen really worked the first time around. And the second time it feels like it’s on an even bigger scale,” Dockery says.

Lady Mary is part of the group who stays at Downton, and Dockery acknowledges the plot's meta, self-referential nature: “There’s something about the movie within the movie, and France. It adds an even more extravagant layer.”

The actress hopes its extravagance will entice fans, maybe even those who haven’t yet returned to movie theaters, to go out and see the film. “It’s an event, isn’t it? Downton always feels like a bit of an event," she says.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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