07:14 PM EDT 01/05/2015
Originally posted 01/04/2015 03:35PM
No meth labs. No superheroes. No steamy sex scenes. So what exactly is it that's got me – an avowed avoider of most things period, British and cozy – hooked on Downton Abbey?
As Season 5 kicks off (on PBS at 9 p.m. Sunday), I think it's the show's sense of human decency – amid rapidly changing times and trying circumstances – showcasing the Granthams' (and most of their circle's) ability to maintain stiff upper lips along with soft hearts.
Season 5 is a quiet but pleasurable one – nothing truly major happens, and that's just fine. After the devastation of World War I and, closer to home, the sudden death of Lady Mary's husband Matthew Crawley back in Season 3, there's enough tragedy still reverberating. As the characters all consider the next steps in their lives, here are some highlights of the new season (mild spoiler warning):
Originally posted 12/19/2014 10:05AM
Can a girl get a better Christmas present than a kiss from George Clooney?
And not just any kiss. If you happen to be the Countess of Grantham, you get to enjoy a Clooney smooch the full length of your left arm from wrist to shoulder.
Originally posted 11/13/2014 09:10PM
Though she plays the upper-crust aristocrat on Downton Abbey, in real life, Elizabeth McGovern spends her free time jamming with her folk/country band, Sadie and the Hotheads, and can be heard singing on the upcoming – wait for it – Christmas at Downton Abbey album, out Nov. 17. So what exactly does a Downton Abbey Christmas album sound like?
"It's just a really nice collection of Christmas songs done in a classical way, with the Budapest City orchestra and a beautiful choir," McGovern tells PEOPLE. And cast members singing! McGovern does a solo version of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," as well as a duet of "The First Noel" with fellow Downton cast mate Julian Ovenden who plays Charles Blake, one of Lady Mary's two new suitors. (Ovenden, a professional singer, has several other solo songs on the album.) Jim Carter, who plays Carson, does a spoken-word version of " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas."
Originally posted 12/30/2013 07:05PM
Downton at Disney?
Elizabeth McGovern poked fun at herself on Sunday as she posed for a portrait that parodies the Downton Abbey cast photo during a visit to Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
McGovern, 52, stood at the head of two lines of Disney employees in front of Epcot's United Kingdom Pavilion, which was meant to represent Highclere Castle, the historical building used in the hit television show.
Originally posted 01/14/2013 10:30AM
Everyone has a past ... even the actors on Downton Abbey.
Long before they were cast as members of the aristocratic Crawley family, Dame Maggie Smith and Elizabeth McGovern appeared in a variety of films, and Snakkle.com has the photos to prove it.
As Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, Smith reigns over her costars, often offering some comic relief in the form of barbs. But prior to Downton and long before her iconic roles in Sister Act and the Harry Potter films, Smith was a fresh-faced girl engulfed in her studies.
(Smith, 78, won a Golden Globe Sunday night and is nominate ford a SAG Award for her role on Downton.)
Originally posted 01/06/2013 11:00AM
It looks like Lady Mary will finally make a fetching and stylish bride.
New photos posted by EW.com show Mary in her wedding gown as she is set to marry distant cousin – and heir to the family's fortune – Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) in the third season of Downton Abbey, which returns to American television on Sunday night (9 p.m. ET) on PBS.
The show's costume designer, Caroline McCall, went all out for the bride's period wedding ensemble, making it what EW says is the show's most expensive outfit to date. A vintage veil will be anchored on Mary's head by a 45-carat floral diamond tiara, valued at $200,000, from U.K. jeweler Bentley & Skinner.
Originally posted 09/22/2012 06:40PM
If you ask why I am crying, it's because Madeleine Stowe, star of ABC's Revenge, is not among the Emmy nominees. In fact, I am crying just as she would: My eyes are ringed with big, ready-to-drop tears of wrath and sorrow.
Otherwise, the latest batch of nominees is pretty satisfying.
It's great to see Lena Dunham and her fantastic HBO comedy Girls up for best actress and show. (But nothing for the supporting cast?) Dunham, who plays a smart, funny, self-absorbed young writer, is running against her comic antithesis: Zooey Deschanel of FOX's New Girl, on which she plays (and plays very well) a cupcake.
Originally posted 07/24/2012 01:30PM
British TV import Downton Abbey has found many fans in the States, but until recently Shirley MacLaine was not one of them.
"I walked in to my hairdresser lady's place in Malibu and they were talking about [the show]," MacLaine told reporters Saturday at the TCAs in Los Angeles. "I said, 'What do they mean?' Then I saw [the show], and I had three months of [filming] it."
The screen legend, 78, is joining the hit PBS series for its third season – playing Martha Levinson, the American mother of Elizabeth McGovern's character, Lady Grantham. The third season kicks off on PBS January 2013.
"I didn't know anything about Martha Levinson, but my hairdresser did," MacLaine said about her character, who was referenced to but never seen in the first two seasons. "Along with the great acting and writing that is why I [took the part] – to see if my hairdresser was right!"
Originally posted 01/30/2012 05:15PM
Look who's coming to Downton!
Shirley MacLaine will join the cast of British period drama Downton Abbey for its third season, producers confirmed Monday.
MacLaine, 77, will play Martha Levinson, the American mother of Elizabeth McGovern's wealthy countess, Lady Cora Grantham. The Oscar-winning screen legend will go toe to toe with Maggie Smith, who portrays the tart-tongued Dowager Countess Violet, according to the show's producers.
Gareth Neame, managing director of Carnival Films, which produces the series, said the new character "will be a wonderful combatant for Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess and we are excited at the prospect of Shirley MacLaine playing her."
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