Viewers who have followed the Crawleys for six seasons will say a final goodbye to the aristocratic British family and their staff when Downton Abbey airs its series finale on March 6, and the farewells were no less difficult for the show’s cast.
In an exclusive excerpt from this week’s edition of the Masterpiece Studio podcast, Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) recalls how hard it was for her and Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith) to say goodbye to Highclere Castle — which stood in for the Crawley family home — when they wrapped filming at the sprawling English manor.
“I didn’t think I would [have a hard time leaving]. Because you work…we’ve been working there day in, day out for six months and I thought I could walk away quite easily from Highclere,” Dockery said. “Laura had finished early that day and she waited around to the wrap at seven o’clock, until we finished.”
“We sort of didn’t know what to do and I was like, ‘This is really weird. Isn’t it, Laura?’ And then she was like, ‘It’s really weird.’ And then all our eyes filled up,” she continued. “And I was like, ‘Oh my God. We’re done. That’s it.’”
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Carmichael then suggested the two take a walk around Highclere’s rooms. “We held hands and we walked through the dining room together,” Dockery recalled. “We walked into the hall, through the library, into the drawing room, the painted room, and we were just in floods of tears. We couldn’t believe it.”
Listen to her talk about their farewell in the video above. The full Masterpiece Studio episode, “Mary vs. Edith: Downton’s Sibling Showdown,” will be available Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on on iTunes, Stitcher, and the Masterpiece website, and also features an interview with the director of this week’s Downton episode, David Evans.