The real-life versions of the cast of Downton Abbey
When you watch Downton Abbey, you can transport to another time. That was the perfect show to tell you about history. The show not only displays moments of history but it also introduces the Crawley family and their help to the world. The show gave its audience a different view about the upstairs and downstairs way of living throughout the years. As a period piece, we do not surprise when knowing that the actors of the show do not really look like their characters. Therefore, let’s take a close look at the real-life versions of the cast of Downton Abbey!
Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith Crawley)
The one who had a more noticeable transformation from character to real-life looks may be Laura Carmicheal. She plays Lady Edith Crawley the middle sister in the show.
When the first episode of the series is public, Carmichael quickly understood the audience’s reaction to the appearance of her character. “Opening the newspaper and reading the review that you are playing the ugly one is really funny. I did not have that thought “, she shared.
However, the audience’s perception changed with time. People started to notice about her character’s status are than how she looks like. “Can you believe that some people even ask me to go horse-riding. I am not sure about that. I am not that kind of lady. I do not have a horse and I even do not know how to ride it.“
Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley)
We all know Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey. That character made her become famous. Everybody agrees that she and that character have a similar look. Maybe both Michelle and Lady Mary always stay up with the day with fashion, especially with their hair.
When the reporter asked Carmicheal about Dockery, she said that they absolutely have another way. “People talk to her like a queen. She is Lady Mary and we all know that”, she said (via the Radio Times).
When the history shows Downton Abbey finish, Dockery said she was ready for a new change. She can take every type of role. She compared her new role in Good Behaviour and Lady Mary Crawley in an interview. “The truth is they are very different and we easily see it. I think some people cannot get it. But that okay. I do not mind surprising people. I just hope that the audience would not compare the two shows. And I hope they watch it for the content only.”
Hugh Bonneville (Robert Crawley)
Robert Crawley or the Earl of Grantham is the character that makes Hugh Bonneville become famous. Especially, they have a similar appearance. However, their clothing choices, of course, are different. People will remember Bonneville as the lord of Downton Abbey for a long time.
When the show finished, he has played a lot of roles. Most of them are really successful. However, Bonneville is ready to settle down. He shared in an interview that he really loves his garden. “I can spend all day watching my flowers and trees. I really enjoy my retirement. And I started to miss my country, West Sussex. I also think that the elder I get, the lazier I am”.
Robert Crawley does not look forward to any character but he would not say no to the right one. “What keeps me going is the character and stories that can inspire me and become my comfort zone.”
Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates)
Anna Bates is a lady maid in the show. And Joanne Froggatt played that role. She had to use very little makeup to look like her character. The actress once shared about her feeling about that character with Allure in2015.
“When you are a lady maid, you do not want to be more outstanding than your employers. It is a bad idea to have a complicated hairstyle or makeup too much. You do not want to take the shine away from the family, the upstairs. Blending into the background is what you need to do. I have to stay low key. Nothing too bright or glamorous or anything. They dull down my hair and my face. It seems like they made another version of me, humble version. When the reporter asked her how much makeup she wore exactly, she said that just only foundation and a little bit of blush. That made me not to look dead.”
When the show completed, Froggatt already has big plans. Anna Bates shared that the first thing she did when the series finish is going to the spa. She made hair and nail. “I did not do that for six months. I am a lady, you know. That is what I do.“
Robert James-Collier (Thomas Barrow)
Thomas Barrow in Downton Abbey is a filthy character. And Robert James-Collier played that role. He believed that he was better than his cooperate. Robert may look like Thomas but their outfit choice is not obviously similar.
A lumberjack shirt, skinny and Converse shoes are what he wore when James Collier came to an interview by The Guardian. According to social media, he did not look for attention. However, his character may have tried to seek out. Thomas Barrow said that he does not like photoshoots. Thomas also shared that he gets scared.
Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes)
Head housekeeper Mrs. Hughes is a very toned down character in the series. She had a humble appearance. There quite no makeup or hairstyle for that role. And Phyllis Logan played that role. Mrs. Hughes was really quiet. Some people even said that she blended into the background.
As you know, it is not just about what they look like. Hughes and her character are very different in many ways. Logan did not listen to what people expected regard to her career. Meanwhile, Mrs. Hughes is the rule that she had to play well.
Logan was born in a small town outside Glasgow. Sharing about her childhood, she said: “Nobody in my school had the idea to become an actor. Everybody just leaves school, become a doctor or teacher… I did not follow them. Because it was just something I never do. I want another thing”. My teacher once told me to become a drama teacher. “Why you want to be an actress? Wake up dear!“. And you can see that all those things cannot stop me from pursuing my dream (via The Washington Post).
Jim Carter (Charles Carson)
The butler at the Crawley’s estate is Charles Carson. However, just somebody knows that it is his last name. Carson is one of the most favorite characters. Charles Carson is always in the center of the spotlight. And the actor who plays that role is Jim Carter is a handsome man. Except for his hair, he looks really like his role!
Jim Carter shared in an interview that he was really happy when a lot of fans recognized him. When he walking on Westminster Bridge, a family who not speaks cannot English recognized him. An Indian family and also a French family. That was so great. They come from Hyderabad, live far from you 159 yards and they know you (via The Telegraph).
Elizabeth McGovern (Cora Crawley)
The lady of the house, Countess Cora Crawley seems like have similar look with its actress, Elizabeth McGovern. They do not have any differences except the period-themed clothes that Cora wore.
McGovern felt free about her look in the past. She said about her acting career in an interview. “When I was young, people look at me as not as sexy as they did. I did not mind about it. I just do what I really like“, she shared (via The Sun).
The actress is becoming better day by day. She feels young and feels free at the time. Such a great success of both worlds. “Middle-aged? That is not what I see myself. I feel like when I was 18. Wild, young and free but more confident. I know that it can surprise people but I do not mind. I feel better and that is enough to me“, McGovern said.
Sophie McShera (Daisy Mason)
Actress Sophie McShera found it is not easy playing Daisy Mason. When she transformed into Daisy, she had to say goodbye to her typical makeup and hairstyle. She already had a new look. That look shocked a lot of people. Sophie McShera even did not wash her hair. That character is a girl who works in the kitchen. Sharing about her character, Sophie said: “She has to work very hard. To be honest, she is a dogsbody. I do not have to wash my face and have to dirt my nail while acting“.
However, the actress has a positive look at her character. Sophie said: “I cannot look more awful in real life. I do not want people to think that I am beautiful just because of makeup and lighting”.
Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore)
We cannot recognize Lesley Nicol when she plays Mrs. Patmore in the series. Mrs. Patmore is the cook of the house and she does not have to put on makeup. Maybe it does not suit with Lesley, she is famous about subtle makeup and beautiful hair. Lesley Nicol looked very different in the show. She changed her straightened hair by curly hair. That shocked a lot of people.
Honestly, working in a kitchen all day may be hard and dirty. And you have no time to care about your appearance. But it is not too bad. If you see it in another way, you will feel different. Nicol once said in an interview that she would never swap her character.
Brendan Coyle (John Bates)
Brendan Coyle is one of the favorite characters of the show. He has a number of fans who always support him. And the actor who played that role, Brendan Coyle has a similar look to his character. That is why a lot of people follow and support both of them.
Sharing about his character, Coyle said: “He is an intelligent, elegant and amazing man. It was really funny to play that role. I told the producers after episode two that they should play a game on him. A killer? A dark man? He can be all of that. So I think we chose wisely. We had so much fun”.
When the show finished, Coyle gets busy quickly. He plays a lot of new roles, mainly in film. There are some movies that he had played: Me Before You, Mary Queen of Scots, Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan. Coyle kept his career moving forward in 2018.
Maggie Smith (Violet Crawley)
Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham is a legendary character. And a legend is perfect to play it. That is Maggie Smith. A legend plays a legendary character.
Although Smith does not have the same look with her character, she played it so well. Smith is a warm person, she gives off a comfortable vibe. Meanwhile, Violet Crawley does not smile too much. She also a little bit stern too. However, the audience appreciates her acting so much.
Sharing about her character, Smith said that the thing she hates about her character is wearing a corset. She did her best to not to wear it (via CBS News). “I did cheat a bit, honestly”, Maggie Smith said. “I make myself look like I am wearing it but actually I do not“.
Lily James (Lady Rose MacClare)
Lily James has played a lot of roles before. Cinderella in 2015 and Baby Driver in 2017 are her movies. However, her career really took off when she played Lady MacClare. Once she joined Downton Abbey, her life changed.
James is not really outstanding. She often blends into the background. She also has a different look with her character. That makes people “easily“ to recognize her on the show. She once told in an interview that she is anonymous. Lily James does not have a unique face like other people to make people notice her.
Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley)
Dan Stevens is really famous for playing iconic Beast in Beauty and the Beast. However, people believed that his biggest role is Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey. When he left the show in 2012, that made a lot of people disappointed. Nowadays, he may look different because he has changed his hair. But his fans always can recognize him easily everywhere he comes.
“I want to say sorry for making my audience disappointed. I do not want to leave the show”, Dan Stevens said in an interview.