EXCLUSIVE: This was a very competitive signing, with all major agencies pursuing the Downton Abbey star who didn’t have an U.S. agency representation. WME will represent Michelle Dockery in all areas. Dockery’s role as Lady Mary Crawley on Downton Abbey, which returns for Season 4 on PBS January 5, earned the British actress two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globes nom. Dockery will next be seen in Universal’s Non-Stop, and she was just tapped to play Sir Ben Kingsley’s daughter in Self/Less for Focus. On stage, Dockery earned a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for her role in the play Burnt By The Sun. She continues to be managed by Sandra Chang at Anonymous Content and by Christian Hodell at Hamilton Hodell in the UK.
AwardsLine Editor Christy Grosz, Managing Editor Anthony D’Alessandro and contributors Paul Brownfield and Thomas J. McLean assist with Deadline’s TV coverage.
Four of the lead acting drama series hopefuls Kevin Spacey (House Of Cards), Damian Lewis (Homeland), Kerry Washington (Scandal) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) share thoughts on their characters, shows and nominations.
AwardsLine: What is it about your character, U.S. Representative Francis Underwood, that translates to audiences? He can be so evil.
Spacey: It’s incredibly fun to play someone who doesn’t have any allegiances. He doesn’t care if he’s ideological or conservative. Francis sees opportunity and wants to get shit done. He wants progress and isn’t bound by labels. People view him as diabolical, but he’s very effective. To have our government in stalemate and in gridlock—it’s conceivable that this world is exciting for the audience.
Related: EMMYS: Drama Series Overview
The TCA panel session on Downton Abbey is ongoing, but a Season 3 trailer just screened for journalists contains some shockers: While who knows how it will all unfold, the Right Honourable Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (Emmy nominee Hugh Bonneville) is seen tearfully confessing to wife Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) that he has lost all the family money (!) including hers. Maggie Smith’s ascerbic Dowager Countess is as sharp-tongued as ever in her exchanges with newcomer Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson (although after the session creator/writer/executive producer Julian Fellowes said Smith had not yet signed on for a fourth season: “Our conversation is just: ‘Please stay’, we don’t really deal at this stage,” he said). And it seems that Mary (Emmy nominee Michelle Dockery) and Matthew (Dan Stevens) are not quite settled in their planned marriage after all. Before the screening, series executive producer Rebecca called the trailer a “hot piece of information, adding: “Nobody has seen it in this country except a few people who have signed in blood.”
In association with The Sundance Channel, Endor Productions will bring the adaptation of William Boyd’s espionage thriller/love story Reckless to BBC One later this year. Cast has now been set with Hayley Atwell, Rufus Sewell, Michelle Dockery, Michael Gambon and Charlotte Rampling starring. Downton Abbey‘s Dockery plays a young woman in 1979 who learns that her mother (Rampling) has been living a double life and is really a former spy for the British Secret Service. In flashbacks to 1939 Paris, Atwell plays Rampling’s younger self who’s recruited into the service by and falls in love with Sewell’s spymaster. After a crucial mission collapses, she must go into hiding, but 30 years later wants to resurface and enlists her daughter to track down her former lover, now played by Gambon.
Boyd wrote the screeplay based on his 2006 best-seller. Theater director Edward Hall is helming the three-hour drama that’s produced by State Of Play‘s Hilary Bevan Jones and Paul Frift. Executive producers are Boyd, Matthew Read for the BBC and Christian Vesper for Sundance. Shooting begins this summer in South Africa and the UK. Restless is the first commission to go into production for Endor since Red Arrow Entertainment acquired a majority stake in the company last March. Red Arrow’s SevenOne International will handle international sales.