Arts & Culture

Laura Carmichael Almost Quit Acting Before Downton Abbey

“It has changed all of my life,” she says.

Downton Abbey's Lady Edith almost looked quite different. In a new interview with Town & Country's U.K. edition, actress Laura Carmichael, who plays the long-suffering middle Crawley daughter in both the TV series and the upcoming film adaptation, revealed that she almost quit acting before landing the role.

"I was so close to not being a working actress. I had a hard time. It's such a painful experience, wanting to act and not doing it, and trying to figure out how to get in there," she said.

And when she auditioned for the role, she assumed it was a much smaller part.

"I went to audition, and because it was so top-secret, I didn't get the script before I arrived," she said.

"I thought I'd probably have one line, but I had five scenes. I was reading them, going, 'My God, this is a proper part! Why are they seeing me for it?'"


Now, of course, Carmichael is more than just a working actress, she's a star, not only playing Edith in the upcoming Downton film, but also appearing in other period dramas such as Starz's The Spanish Princess, which chronicles the early reign of Henry VIII, but from the perspective of his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

Carmichael says the role of Edith changed everything—not only her career, but also her love life. She met her boyfriend Michael C. Fox, who plays the footman Andy Parker, on set.

"It has changed all of my life. When you are able to work, and love it, it is such a joy. And I've fallen in love and made wonderful friends - how lucky am I?"

Watch the trailer for the upcoming Downton Abbey movie, below:

*This story originally appeared on

*Minor edits have been made by the editors

Recommended Videos
About The Author
Caroline Hallemann
View Other Articles From Caroline Hallemann
Latest Stories
Hermès showed its Enchaînement Libres high jewelry collection stateside for the first time, just a day after New York Fashion Week.
The Italian label can now measure its carbon footprint in pasta and wine.
Everything from a Harry Potter screening accompanied by live music, to the must-see auctions, to a Thai artist's debut exhibition.
Fancy desserts, alien replicas, and even churches. Did we mention desserts?
"In the same way that Narcissus’ portrait was made, this is me remembering who I am.”
Load More Articles