Actors and Actresses

The 'Downton Abbey' Cast: What Are They Up To Now?

(Photo: (Photo: Nick Briggs/Carnival Film and Television for MASTERPIECE)

It’s been a few months since we sadly had to say farewell to period drama Downton Abbey and the many popular stars that comprised its cast. Knowing that come this January, we won’t see the familiar faces of Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville or Maggie Smith on our screens every Sunday night still feels pretty surreal, and to be honest, is something we are all probably trying to avoid thinking about as much as possible.

But, even though Downton is gone (SNIFF), it doesn’t mean that we’ve said goodbye to all the great actors who played the Crawley clan forever. Many of the show’s stars have brand new projects in the works (many of which look markedly different from their respective roles when they were at Highclere). 

So let’s see what they’ve been up to, shall we? 

Hugh Grant as everyone's favorite fictional Prime Minister in "Love Actually". (Photo: Universal Pictures)

British Actors You Should Know: Hugh Grant

Last week actor and producer Hugh Grant was bestowed with the British Film Institute Fellowship, the organization’s highest honor recognizing his outstanding contribution to film. No stranger to accolades and trophies including a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for his breakout role in 1994’s Four Weddings and a Funeral, Grant’s career has spanned over thirty years with appearances in forty films.

Not exactly an up and comer, most of you are probably already familiar with Hugh from his many leading man, rom-com roles in the 90’s and 2000’s.  If you haven’t seen as much of Mr. Grant lately, perhaps it’s because he has been rather occupied with his campaign against the tabloid press for their invasive phone hacking tactics or the fact that he was busy becoming a father four times in four years! 

Saoirse Ronan in her Academy Award-nominated role in "Brooklyn". (Photo: Fox Searchlight)

British (Irish) Actresses You Should Know: Saoirse Ronan

Since the 2016 Oscar nominations have been announced, it gave me a good reason to return to our recurring series highlighting talented performers from the UK. However whenever we choose to include Irish performers in these profiles, I always feel compelled to state that we understand Ireland isn’t part of the United Kingdom.

 In fact in the case of actress Saoirse Ronan, she is actually Irish-American seeing as she was born in the Bronx to Irish parents who then returned to their homeland when she was a young child. My point being, we love the Emerald Isle as well and Miss Ronan is super-talented so it makes sense to tell you about her work regardless.

And when I say super-talented I’m not exaggerating. At the tender age of twenty-one, Ronan has already been nominated for an Academy award twice. Let’s examine the variety and growth of her work thus far in her impressive career with her nominated roles as bookends for the others.

Remembering Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman in his most famous recent role: "Harry Potter's" Potions Master, Severus Snape. (Photo: Warner Bros.)

Most of you have probably already heard the heart-breaking news that Alan Rickman passed away today at the age of 69. Reports state that the British actor had been battling cancer. He is survived by his partner of 50 years, Rima Horton. The two married in a private ceremony in 2012.

Anyone who watched Mr. Rickman perform knew the depth and power of his talent. He was an accomplished stage and screen actor who was recognized with nominations for his work in theatre, TV and film. His honors included a BAFTA for his villainous role in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for portraying the infamous spiritual healer and Russian political advisor in the TV movie Rasputin. For his most recognized role as the misunderstood and ultimately selfless Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, Alan earned the devotion of a generation and a People’s Choice and MTV Movie award to boot.

In Memoriam candle

In Memoriam 2015

Another year has flown by and with it some of our favorite icons of the arts and entertainment world have gone as well. Please join me in honoring the memory of many of the British actors, musicians and authors who have shared their talents with us over the years. 

The cast of "Downton Abbey" during the Season 6 press tour. (Photo: Stephanie Berger/PBS_

‘Downton Abbey’ Actor Role Reversals

The final series of Downton Abbey may still be a little bit away, but they already have us thinking about what the end will bring for the Crawleys and all the staff we’ve come to know on the estate.

So while we endure the wait, I started to scout out how often the actors who inhabit these well-known characters have actually reversed roles – you know upstairs people playing servants, downstairs folks playing the privileged. Here’s what I found.

Watch: ‘Downton Abbey’ Stars Doing American Accents is Amazing

Allen Leech, Michelle Dockery and Hugh Bonneville at a PBS screening. (Photo: Stephanie Berger/PBS)

The Downton Abbey cast has been out and about quite a bit over the past week or so, doing the press rounds in America as the US premiere date of Season 6 inches ever closer. (FYI: It’s January 3, if somehow you’ve been living under a rock missed this memo.)

This of course has lead to a lot of delightful clips and interviews, largely because this cast is just adorable together, but the best bit thus far has to be their appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last week, during which the chat host convinced them to give viewers a look at what Downton Abbey might be like if only it sounded a little different.

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