New interview and photoshoot for Lily, alongside her ‘Downton Abbey’ co-stars Sophie McShera and Cara Theobold.
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Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > Session 025
Lady Rose MacClare is the headstrong great-niece of the Dowager Countess, played by Dame Maggie Smith. In the last series we saw her banished to Scotland in disgrace after she embarked on an affair with a married man and was caught in flagrante with him at the notoriously louche Blue Dragon nightclub.
Actress Lily James admits that – like Lady Rose – she is often driven by the heart rather than the head and can be impulsive. ‘A friend once asked me to cat-sit while she was on holiday,’ says Lily, 24, ‘and I fell in love with her cat so much that the day after she collected it, I drove to Essex and bought myself a beautiful black and white kitten, Coco, which was entirely mad as I was away a lot and living a ridiculous nomadic existence. She’s been staying at my mum’s but I’m about to move into a flatshare in South London, so we can be reunited.’
Lady Rose is drawn to adventure like a moth to a flame, so her return south of the border is bound to create a stir. ‘She’s a very strong-willed character. Like a coiled spring waiting to be released, she is desperate to rebel against the strictures of her upbringing.’
Not so Lily, whose grandmother Helen Horton was an actress with roles in films including Alien and Superman 3. Her father, who died in 2000, was also in the business and wrote music and plays. ‘They were both a huge inspiration, and although neither of my two brothers were interested in an acting career, I went to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and loved it.’
Last month, Lily attended a press day for ‘Downton Abbey’ and here is a video interview (3:54).
Another interview of our lovely Lily with RadioTimes this time. Lily talks mischief, drinking tea with Maggie Smith and being inspired by Downton Abbey fashion.
“Maggie Smith’s just been one of my idols growing up… so now to be sitting drinking tea with her is slightly bizarre!”
Lily James plays Lady Rose, Downton Abbey’s new resident trouble maker. Before the drama returns to ITV, we sat down with the 24-year-old rising star to find out what’s in store for her in series four…
What was it like to join the cast after almost three series?
It was really overwhelming at the start of the series. I’ve loved the show. But everyone was really welcoming and really encouraging and really warm. Especially this year, I feel totally a part of it now. And it didn’t take long. My first day was like the first day of school, I was like ‘Like me! Like me!’
Can we expect mischief from Rose in the next series?
She wants to shake up her own life, so I guess that has an impact on the household. She puts herself in positions that are really inappriopriate and searches for fun in places that weren’t allowed at that time for young girls.
She’s risking her position and she’s risking being with the family and Downton, which she loves, so when she does try and have fun she has to try and rein it in.
Does this fun have anything to do with a certain jazz musician…?
Ah. [laughs] You’ll have to wait and see.
Okay, we won’t talk plot spoilers, but did you have an idea of where you wanted Rose to go in series four?
All actors want to sort of show a rounded character… so I was hoping that you’d see lots of different sides to Rose. You know, obviously, she’s the party girl and she’s sort of seeking an adrenaline rush, seeking excitement, but there is also lots of other stuff going on so that’s what I was hoping you’d see.
Thanks to Raina, I have updated the gallery with high quality photos of Lily at the after party of “The Seagull” press night on november 12, 2012 in London.
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Public Appearances > 2012 > “The Seagull” Press Night – After Party
I have added to the gallery three more high quality stills of ‘Downton Abbey’ series four.
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Television Productions > Downton Abbey (2012-2013) > Season 4 > Episode Stills > Episode #4.1
ITV has released their Press Pack for Season 4 of ‘Downton Abbey’. Here is an interview with Lily:
Lady Rose MacClare (Lily James)
The young and spirited daughter of Violet’s niece, the Marchioness of Flintshire. With the twenties now beginning to roar, Rose’s attraction to the bright lights of the city stands little chance of abating and, as she starts to explore the new world only recently opened to the post-war generation, the threat to the Crawleys’ social standing is ever present.
Downton’s newest arrival above stairs is Lady Rose MacClare, the Dowager Countess’ great niece whom we first met at the end of series three. Now that her parents have moved to India she has been taken under Cora’s wing.
“She has come to live at ‘Downton’ with the Crawley family and so I think she is grateful to have been taken in by them,” says James. “It gets her away from the thought of her horrid mother in India. So at the start she is on her best behaviour. She may be a bit of a troublemaker but she doesn’t want to cause trouble at the beginning.”
Naturally, trouble soon follows.
“I don’t think she really fits in that well!” laughs James. “She is different from other girls in that she doesn’t want to behave. She feels a bit on edge a lot of the time and Edith is quite nasty to her too.”
Yet at a time when Downton is suffused with gloom, Rose is also a breath of fresh air.
“Yes, she definitely brings a bit of light to the place. At the start of the series because of Matthew’s death there is a real weight and dejection to everything. I think that is also why Rose is trying to tow the line because you have got to be sensitive in those sorts of situations. But she does try and encourage a bit of life and music around the place – she is obsessed with music and dancing. And I think that the house needs that actually.”
The actress who plays Lady Rose McClare talks about the fourth season of ‘Downton Abbey’, Mick Jagger and ‘living free, wild and young’
Are you enjoying being such a rebel?
‘I’m loving it, it’s very freeing. Everything’s allowed.’
Rose is quite a liability.
‘Yeah, very unaware of the consequences of her actions, and no ability to abide by rules.’
She’s at the centre of the bright young things as the 1920s – how was that to film?
‘Really exciting. The world of the flapper, live free, wild and young – that energy is intoxicating. It’s nice to inject that into the more controlled Downton way of living. And there’s loads of dancing. It’s really funny doing it all together, treading on each other’s toes. You don’t expect to see Jim [Carter, who plays Carson] doing the one-step. But he’s very good!’
Does Rose have love interests this year?
‘There’s all sorts of potential for that this year.’ Who does Rose bond with most in the family? ‘Cora, I think. She doesn’t have any real love in her life, so she’s searching for that.’
Do you like Rose?
‘I have a love-hate relationship with her. She’s really shallow, but she’s got a big heart – she’s so young, but her depth of emotional perspective gets bigger this year.’
Do you use Twitter?
‘I have an account but I don’t use it. It’s dangerous – if you search yourself then read things you don’t want to, it’s tough. It’s a temptation, so I’m not using Twitter for the time being.’
There’s a huge celebrity fanbase for ‘Downton’. Has anyone surprised you?
‘We talk about it as a cast. Apparently Mick Jagger loves it. And my brothers aren’t famous, but they love it. They started watching because of me, but now they’re hooked. ‘
Are you happy to stay as long as you can?
‘I’m having such a great time – I’ll be in it as long as they’ll have me.’