Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery has admitted she is missing her on-screen husband Dan Stevens as much as her character, Lady Mary.
The actress said things felt very different on set after the death of Dan’s character, Matthew Crawley, at the end of series three.
“I’m not mourning Dan like Lady Mary is for her husband, but I do miss him. We had become close and it has seemed strange without him.” Michelle told the Daily Mail.
Adding, “It’s the same with Jessica Brown Findlay, who played my sister Lady Sybil, who died soon after bearing her baby daughter."
“We all spent so much time together and suddenly they are not there. Mary feels isolated in her grief – and I’m missing two good friends.”
Dan’s departure from the show in 2012’s Christmas special shocked millions of viewers, and has been the talk of TV land ahead of Downton’s return this Sunday.
But Michelle said she understands her co-star’s reason for leaving, saying, “We’d all signed up initially for three series of Downton, so the time was right for him to make his move. Any of us could have made the same choice.”
“Of course I would have loved Dan to have stayed, but there does come a point where you have to make decisions about your career and what you want to do.”
Series four will begin six months after Matthew’s death in 1922, with Lady Mary struggling with grief and wondering whether she will make a good mother.
It promises to be just as emotional, hurry up Sunday!
Downton Abbey series four begins this Sunday 22 September 2013, 9pm on ITV.