The hugely popular series Downton Abbey is returning for a fourth season, and star Michelle Dockery, who plays beautiful aristocrat Lady Mary Crawley, sat down with Boston Common magazine to talk about what's next for her character.
"There was a real sense of isolation with the character in the first episode because Mary has very much retreated," the British actress reveals. "She's become a bit of a recluse." Mary is now coping with the deaths of her husband Matthew, played by Dan Stevens, and her sister Sybil, played by Jessica Brown Findlay. On top of that, she's raising her infant son as a single mother.
The 31-year-old actress says that she loves the woman she portrays. "I love playing her because of her behavior at times. I find she can be quite shocking. She has a real bite to her that I love playing, because I don't think I could ever be that way. That's the joy of being an actor - you can tap into those sides of yourself that feel unfamiliar."
And being on Downton Abbey has had plenty of upsides. For Michelle, one of the best parts of being on the award-winning show is getting to be part of the female-friendly TV revolution.
"I feel like I'm part of this surge in great writing for women," she says. "In television, there seem to be many roles that are written for women and really strong characters."
For more from Michelle, check out Boston Common. Season 4 of Downton Abbey debuts on PBS on January 5, 2014.