Michelle Dockery

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? 

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.

Michelle Dockery to Star in ‘Good Behavior’ Pilot for TNT

As the clock ticks down to the (sniff!) end of megahit costume drama Downton Abbey, fans can take some comfort in watching the stars of the show line up their next projects in a post-Crawley family world. Sure, it’s not the same as the show continuing – though let’s all keep the dream of a prequel series alive in our hearts okay?! – but it’s in many ways comforting to know that we’ll still get to see our favorite Downton-ian actors starring in new things in the coming months.

Joanne Froggatt was the first to announce her post-Downton plans – she’ll be playing well against type as a Victorian serial killer in a drama for UK network ITV – and now Michelle Dockery has signed on to star in a new pilot for TNT called Good Behavior, a project which also seems a pretty big change from her role as heroine Mary Crawley.

'Tough Justice' with Michelle Dockery is the Must-See Video of the Day

Every wonder what Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery might look like in a different sort of show? Perhaps a more modern show, in a role that didn’t require the wearing of a corset? Well, you just might get your wish – sort of – below.

The Downton star features in the latest hilarious effort from website Funny or Die, which imagines what Dockery’s career might look like if she swapped Highclere Castle for the lead role of a fictional crime drama called Tough Justice. (There may actually be a show out there already called Tough Justice because, let’s face it, all those shows have names that sound like that, but this one depicted here is totally fake.)

It depicts Dockery as no-nonsense lead female detective named Connie Tough, opposite The Shield’s Michael Chiklis as (what else) her gritty, hard-nosed partner. The clip also takes a moment to poke fun at the endlessly cookie-cutter procedurals featured on cable networks like TNT and USA, as well at the idea that all female characters featured in these sorts of shows are the super combative, over the top “strong woman” types. Of course, there’s also a twist, but you’ll really be happier if I don’t tell you what it is.

This whole thing is hard to really explain without ruining the fun, so just take my word that it’s amazing and well worth your time to click through and watch:

Watch the Trailer for Restless, Starring Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery will be stepping off the Crawley estate and into the world of international espionage this December in the new mini-series Restless, which is set to screen on the Sundance Channel here in the States in just a couple weeks.

Dockery plays Ruth, a young woman who discovers that her mother Ruth was once a spy for the British Secret Service in World War II and has been living a double life ever since. The two-part series also stars some other notable British talent, including Charlotte Rampling, Hayley Atwell, Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon. It’s based on a novel by William Boyd who, incidentally, will be penning the next James Bond novel.

The trailer looks quite interesting – and the material actually seems rich enough to support the level of talent involved.

Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery Joins the Cast of Restless

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery is set to join Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, Charlotte Rampling and Hayley Atwlell in the BBC’s upcoming two-part adaptation of William Boyd’s best-selling novel Restless.

Dockery will play Ruth, a young girl who discovers that her mother Sally is really a spy named Eva, who was recruited by the British Secret Service at the start of World War II and has been living a double life on the run ever since. Rambling and Atwell will both play Eva, thirty years apart. Sewell and Gambon will also pull double character duty, both playing Lucas Romer, Eva’s former handler and lover. It all sounds quite complicated – but very interesting too!

Acclaimed theater director Ed Hall has signed on to run things behind the scenes, and Boyd – whose Any Human Heart aired on Masterpiece last year – will be adapting his own novel for the small screen.

"To have the chance to film a novel like Restless over three hours is the sort of opportunity that only a television adaptation can provide,” Boyd said.

"It represents the most enticing and alluring of possibilities - not only to tell an enthralling story of wartime espionage, love and betrayal but also to lift the lid on one of the last secrets of the Second World War."

Restless is due to screen on BBC One in late 2012. No hard date has been established for when we might see this drama here in the States, but the Hollywood Reporter says the project will broadcast in the US “later this year” as well.