The premiere of Downton Abbey: A New Era was quite the star-studded event at Leicester Square’s Cineworld last month. And the eagerly-awaited sequel to the 2019 film made its debut across the pond in New York on Sunday evening, with Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt and Laura Carmichael stealing the show at Metropolitan Opera House.

40-year-old Michelle who takes on the role of Lady Mary Crawley in the period drama shimmered in a figure-hugging dress, which featured long sleeves and sparkly detailing in abundance. The star, whose role as Mary has seen her previously nominated for a Golden Globe Award and three consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress, kept her striking bob poker straight and sported an immaculate face of makeup. 

Meanwhile, Anna Bates actress Joanne, 41, looked dazzling in a black, sequin bandeau and coordinating skirt, with the ensemble flashing a peek of her toned tummy. Her blonde locks, coiffed in beach waves, sat at her shoulders and she could not keep the smile off her face as she posed on the patterned red and white carpet. 

Laura Carmichael, aka Lady Edith Crawley, slipped her figure into a strapless black dress, which boasted a bandeau top half and a ruffled skirt, the length of which allowed a glimpse of her dainty shoes. The film and TV starlet, 35, added a subtle pop of colour with scarlet lipstick. 

Michelle spoke about returning to the character of Lady Mary after the historical drama series came to an end in December 2015 and the Downton Abbey film came out in 2019.She told Radio Times: ‘It’s really rare that you get back into the shoes of a character that you’ve played for so many years. It’s been three years since the last [Downton Abbey] film and we’ve all been doing work in between. 

‘It’s great to come back to something that is so familiar, and it saves a lot of time in the beginning because there’s not as much preparation.’Claire Danes, every inch the beauty in blue, was there to support husband Hugh Dancy, who plays Jack Barber in the film – but not the series.

The actress’ off-the-shoulder dress featured baby blue satin detailing with a navy skirt, which she paired with classic, open-toe sandals. Meanwhile, Hugh looked dapper on the big night and complemented his wife’s colour scheme with a blue shirt of his own.   

Hugh Bonneville showed off his suave sense of style in a black suit , while he framed his face with a pair of chunky glasses and completed with a maroon tie. The actor, 58, wore a Ukrainian flag pin on his lapel as he showed his support for the war-torn country following Russia’s invasion. He is returning to screens as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, in the latest Downton Abbey movie, after playing the character in the historical drama series.

The trailer shows the Crawley family heading to the South of France to uncover a mystery at a villa bestowed to Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet Crawley, while an ambitious director plans to make a film at Downton.  It looks like there could be trouble in paradise for Lady Mary (Michelle) as she talks about the struggles of marriage in the trailer.

Downton creator Julian Fellowes previously teased some details about the movie, which is based on the acclaimed TV series. Speaking about the project, Julian shared: ‘It’s really a new era. The further the ’20s went along, the more the world was changing in so many ways. Everything from entertainment to transport was really different by the end of the ’20s. That’s what we’re referring to in that.’

Julian sees the Downton films as an extension of the hit TV series, which ran for six seasons between 2010 and 2015, and he explained that the new movie will pick up from where the 2019 film ended. He said: ‘As we know from the last film, Mary may not be the titular head of the household, but she is effectively running the show. We take that further. ‘We’re trying to mark the change the fact that Crawleys of Downton are nearly in the 1930s, which is merely the beginning of the modern world.’

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