Downton Abbey cast on their characters’ romances

Michelle Dockery, Dan Stevens, Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle discuss their characters' relationships

Michelle Dockery on Lady Mary


“To begin with, Mary was incredibly cold, with this sting in her tail. As the first series went on she grew as a person, in the most part because of her feelings for Matthew. Her emotions made her a more rounded character, they softened her and when we return to her two years on something has definitely shifted, but that doesn’t make their relationship any easier and it is all far from resolved.”

Dan Stevens on Matthew Crawley

“When Matthew returns to Downton he appears to have moved on from Lady Mary. She took him for a ride in the first series, which left him heartbroken, but a bit of wisdom was learnt and he comes back stronger. There’s still something bubbling away there and there always will be but it’s all unspoken and very much up in the air. Even I don’t know where it’s going to lead…”

Joanne Froggatt on Anna Smith

“Anna’s relationship with Bates is based on friendship, trust and respect for each other, but there have been so many spanners in the works. I really hoped the second series would see them living happily ever after, although the actress is me knew that would be boring, so it was a mixture of emotions coming to the script for series two. All I can say is that it certainly won’t be boring.”

Brendan Coyle on John Bates


“Bates had lost his belief in love and it took a lot of convincing for him to open up his heart again. Nevertheless his and Anna’s relationship has moved on considerably from where we last left them, but, as ever, the path of true love does not run smooth. I don’t think it is a secret that John Bates’ wife returns, making everything take quite a dark turn.”