“I love Downton,” said Huston, last seen on the small screen on NBC’s Smash. Although American-born, Huston spent much of her childhood in Ireland and England, stating she “could pop into a part.”
She even has her own suggestion for a part. “Somebody like the Countess Markievicz [an Irish rebel], who they mentioned last season. Maybe I could make a guest appearance,” she continued.
Countess Markievicz was mentioned in the fourth episode of season 3, when Sybil and Tom Branson go on the lam in Ireland after Tom is suspected of being involved in Irish rebellion activities. The Countess, not to be confused with the Dowager Countess Grantham played by Countess of the Universe Dame Maggie Smith, was a real-life Irish rebel, who fought for an independent Ireland. But how she would logically appear on Downton Abbey may be difficult, because the political figure would have either been busy working as the Minister of Labour in Ireland or in prison.
There are also other juicy roles series creator Julian Fellowes can add that would suit the Academy Award-winning actress. Whereas fitting a historical figure in a fictional world may be more difficult, Huston can still play a strong-willed Irish woman as Tom Branson’s mother. If Tom can’t go to Ireland without being arrested, then Ireland can go to him. Huston would also kill a Meryl Streep-as-Miranda Priestley role mentoring/torturing Edith’s Anne Hathaway equivalent in a The Devils Wears Prada-style arc. (Edith said she wanted to write for a newspaper!) If the series would continue in a flash-forward spinoff, she could even play an older Mary who now offers blunt, sage advice for her grown-up son George and niece Sybbie.
If award-winning actors Shirley MacLaine and Paul Giamatti can show up at Downton, why not Huston? In related news, is it January yet?