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‘I don’t understand it!’ Elizabeth McGovern admits she has ‘no idea’ why Downton Abbey is so popular

She’s set to reprise her role as Lady Cora Crawley in Downton Abbey: A New Era, the second film following the hugely successful TV series.

But despite having portrayed the Countess of Grantham since 2010 when the historical drama began, Elizabeth McGovern admitted that she has ‘no idea’ why Downton Abbey is so popular. 

In a new interview, the American actress, 30, also revealed that she felt that shooting the big screen version of the Julian Fellowes written saga was ‘very similar’ to making the TV series.

Bemused: Despite having portrayed the Countess of Grantham since 2010 when the historical drama began, Elizabeth McGovern admitted that she has ‘no idea’ why Downton Abbey is so popular

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Downton Abbey, which depicted the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants, ran for six series and is the recipient of several awards including Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Screen Actors Guild awards.

And discussing the world’s love of the show, which has had 120 million viewers worldwide, Elizabeth couldn’t get her head around its popularity, admitting she ‘doesn’t understand it.’

She told OK! magazine: ‘People ask me why the show has succeeded over the years and I have no idea. I don’t understand it. I am just grateful. But viewers connect to it for different reasons.’ 

Popular: Downton Abbey, which depicted the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants, ran for six series and is the recipient of several awards including Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Screen Actors Guild awards

Popular: Downton Abbey, which depicted the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants, ran for six series and is the recipient of several awards including Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Screen Actors Guild awards

Confused: Discussing the world's love of the show, which has had 120 million viewers worldwide, Elizabeth couldn't get her head around its popularity, admitting she 'doesn't understand it'

Confused: Discussing the world’s love of the show, which has had 120 million viewers worldwide, Elizabeth couldn’t get her head around its popularity, admitting she ‘doesn’t understand it’

Meanwhile, the actress opened up on the transition form TV series to film, with the star explaining how she initially thought that making the movie version would be bigger and better.

But she soon found there was little difference, explaining:’ The funny thing is that it felt very similar. I thought the snacks on the [film] set would be better but no… they weren’t. We were in the same house, we were staying in the same little bed and breakfasts around [Highclere Castle]. 

‘The film looked and felt so much bigger, expansive and more ambitious than the TV show, but the actual act of shooting it really feels the same. You are still having to hit your marks and say your lines. So that was kind of surprising to me.’

Opinion: She told OK! magazine : 'People ask me why the show has succeeded over the years and I have no idea. I don¿t understand it. I am just grateful. But viewers connect to it for different reasons'

Opinion: She told OK! magazine : ‘People ask me why the show has succeeded over the years and I have no idea. I don’t understand it. I am just grateful. But viewers connect to it for different reasons’

And while she enjoyed her time on the series, the Illinois native said at times she found that English actor’ approach to work was quite ‘foreign’ to her as she noted their was a ‘real cultural divide’ between the UK and the US.

She added that she believed it to be ‘to do with the language’ more than anything else, joking that she sometimes felt as though she was ‘on another planet’ among the English thespians.  

Elsewhere, last month, Elizabeth admitted she ‘wasn’t into’ her latest milestone birthday after turning 60 last July. 

Big screen: Meanwhile, the actress opened up on the transition form TV series to film, with the star explaining how she initially thought that making the movie version would be bigger and better (pictured in a clip from the new film)

Big screen: Meanwhile, the actress opened up on the transition form TV series to film, with the star explaining how she initially thought that making the movie version would be bigger and better (pictured in a clip from the new film)

The Downton Abbey star, who, for an interview and shoot with Woman & Home showed off her age-defying beauty in a teal satin dress, had no qualms about turning 50 – but didn’t feel the same a decade later on her 60th year.

Speaking to the monthly lifestyle magazine, the actress said: ‘As it encroached, everything about me was like, “No, I cannot be 60 I’m not into it!” Once I got past the milestone and with a little help from friends, now I’m loving it.’ 

Candidly revealing it’s been a ‘tough couple of years,’ Elizabeth continued: ‘There is less opportunity for a woman my age than a man my age. That is the reality, but things are changing slowly. 

‘Conversations over the past couple of years have been very profound and although it’s been a tough couple of years, I feel very hopeful about the future.’ 

Thoughts: While she enjoyed her time on the series, the Illinois native said at times she found that English actor' approach to work was quite 'foreign' to her as she noted their was a 'real cultural divide' between the UK and the US

Thoughts: While she enjoyed her time on the series, the Illinois native said at times she found that English actor’ approach to work was quite ‘foreign’ to her as she noted their was a ‘real cultural divide’ between the UK and the US


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