Imelda Staunton has said that she would “of course” reprise her role as Lady Maud Bagshaw if there were a sequel to the Downton Abbey film.
Asked whether she would return if Julian Fellowes penned another script, Staunton exclusively told RadioTimes.com, “Oh well, of course I would,” before adding that she would have to “see if there’s room for that character to come back”.
The actress, who was recently cast as the third iteration of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s The Crown, said that Downton “was a very nice job to do,” before continuing (in what hopefully wasn’t an damning indictment of her upcoming royal role): “It’s a woman with a nice arc, and a backstory that wasn’t just a woman in a tiara and a long dress.”
“I’ve worked with Maggie [Smith, who plays Lady Violet Crawley] before and I’ve worked with Penelope Wilton [Isobel Crawley] before so you know, we know each other well,” she said.
Staunton is also starring in ITV’s upcoming family drama Flesh and Blood, which was written, directed and executive produced by an all-female creative team – something that appealed to Staunton. “Yeah it was [a selling point] – female writer, female producer, female director,” she said. “Have I ever done that? I don’t think I have. Not all three.”
Flesh and Blood follows an attractive, recently widowed older woman, Vivien (Francesca Annis) whose three adult children are horrified when they learn that their mother has begun dating again. Staunton plays Mary, the family’s neighbour, who harbours an unhealthy obsession with Vivien.
Asked about the show, Staunton said: “I think this is rather grown up, and it’s also not two people, sitting over, staring at each other you know, older people staring at each other over a glass of wine and indigestion tablets. I think this stands on its own, it isn’t- they’re not trying to do, ‘well, let’s do a really good sex scene to show that older people can have sex,’ we don’t have to do that.”
Flesh and Blood will air on Monday 24th February on ITV over four consecutive nights