Stars Head for Life After Downton

Series ends Sunday night
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 6, 2016 12:27 PM CST
Stars Head for Life After Downton
Joanne Froggatt portraying Mary Ann Cotton from the TV mini-series "Dark Angel." Froggatt, who portrays the vulnerable Anna Bates in "Downton Abbey," is morphing into a 19th-century serial killer in PBS' "Dark Angel."   (Justin Slee)

As Downton Abbey wraps Sunday night at 9pm, what's happening to certain stars is downright criminal, reports the AP. Joanne Froggatt, the TV drama's vulnerable Anna Bates, is morphing into a 19th-century serial killer in PBS' Dark Angel. Michelle Dockery, who plays coolly elegant Lady Mary, is a sleazy American ex-con in TNT's Good Behavior. And Kevin Doyle, the good-hearted Mr. Molesley, is a bad-hearted police detective in Netflix's Happy Valley. The end of Downton Abbey after six seasons means new paths for its stars, with both the upstairs and downstairs crew embracing change-of-pace roles. "Anybody who's watched and loved Downton is going to remember these characters for the rest of their lives," said executive producer Gareth Neame. But cast members "can't put a pin in their career and say that's it." A look around:

  • Dan Stevens has avoided lord-of-the-manor roles since playing Matthew Crawley. Among his upcoming projects: the films Beauty and the Beast and sci-fi drama Colossal, and Legion, a Marvel Comics-based TV pilot for FX.
  • Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham): Possibly the actor staying closest to his Downton pedigree, he plays Lord Louis Mountbatten in the Indian independence movie Viceroy's House.
  • Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith): Takes on a sibling role again in the 1940s history-based romance, A United Kingdom, introducing her sister to her future husband, an African prince.
  • Brendan Coyle (John Bates): Plays English politician Augustine Birrell in the historical Irish drama The Rising. Also in the romantic movie Me Before You, based on the novel by Jojo Moyes.
  • Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Cora): Writing and recording her fourth album with the band Sadie and the Hotheads. In April, starting rehearsals at the National Theatre in London for Sunset at the Villa Thalia.
  • Lilly James (Lady Rose): Takes on a classic part, Elizabeth Bennet, in an adaptation of the non-classic parody of Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In The Kaiser's Last Kiss, a German soldier falls in love with James' Jewish Dutchwoman.
  • Allen Leech (Tom Branson): In the film Hunter's Prayer, based on Kevin Wignall's novel For the Dogs, Leech plays the former boss of a hired assassin whose assignment goes awry.
  • Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley): As lonely wife Pauline in the British TV series Brief Encounters, set in the 1980s, Wilton is one of four women whose lives are changed when they start selling exotic lingerie at house parties.
(More Downton Abbey stories.)

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