Downton Abbey’s Lady Edith has certainly been through the mill over the last few years: she’s had to deal with the loss of her sister Sybil and brother-in-law Matthew, has been stood up at the altar, and had to cope with being largely overshadowed in every way by older sibling Mary.
But through all of her experiences, Laura Carmichael, who plays the part in the hit period drama, has grown stronger and more self-assured.
“I think all of those things that happened to her made her in a weird way more confident. She is no longer competing for a conventional marriage, it’s given her more of a voice.
“The fun thing about all those upstairs characters is they have this inherent arrogance, this confidence of being lady of the house. But now it feels Edith has more of a rounded take on things, and she’s matured I think over the years.”
One of the main things that has given Edith a new outlook in life is her burgeoning career as a columnist for The Sketch; a role has also opened up the possibility of a romance.
“The great thing about Edith is she’s changed after all the knocks she’s had, Matthew and her grandmother really encourages her to write and find something to do, and it’s made her a more interesting character in a way, because she has a craft and a profession.
“It’s given her confidence, and she meets her editor Michael Gregson, and they start up a bit of relationship. There’s a spark between them.”
However all is not smooth-running, with Gregson still tied into a marriage, despite the editor desperately trying to end the union.
“With Edith it’s never simple; Gregson is married and that would be so frowned up on to be going round with a married man. At the moment her parents have no idea he’s married, so it’s something that crops up. How will they get over this and can they make this a working relationship?”
Check out the video above to hear what else Laura Carmichael has to say about Lady Edith and what it’s like working with legends such as Dame Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey.
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- Downton Abbey: meet Michael Gregson