Michelle Dockery had been working as an actress for years when she landed the once-in-a-career role of Lady Mary on Downton Abbey. Though some actors hate being confused with their characters, Michelle says that she loves being recognized and is touched that people consider Mary a member of their family.
"It's a lovely thing to feel as an actor," British-born Michelle told the Guardian. "I get a delivery of letters about once a month. I even had bereavement cards after the last series." Matthew, Mary's onscreen husband played by Dan Stevens, was killed off last season when Dan chose to leave the show.
See 'Downton Abbey' Actress Michelle Dockery's $40K Makeover
But in some ways, Michelle and Mary are worlds apart. For one thing, 31-year-old Michelle is obsessed with Friends. "It is impossible to watch a Friends episode too many times. Phoebe is my favorite character. I used to play her songs on the guitar when I was a teenager. "Smelly Cat" is very easy. It's only about three chords."
She also doesn't have Mary's ability to look blase when meeting someone famous. Michelle confesses that she got starstruck when meeting Mick Jagger at the Met Ball last year. "He introduced himself to me and Laura Carmichael [who plays her sister Lady Edith] and I was speechless. It's exciting to meet someone you've grown up admiring."
Michelle Dockery Dishes About Downton Abbey's Upcoming Fourth Season
Downton Abbey returns to PBS for a fourth season in January. While Mary's portrayer won't give away too many secrets about what to expect, she does say that the newly single mom will date again.
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