Richard E Grant and Anna Chancellor Join The Downton Abbey Cast for Season 5

Photo: ITV

Though it doesn’t grace UK screens until late this year, filming has already begun on the fifth series of ITV’s period hit, Downton Abbey. While it’s a bit too early for any plot details to have been revealed, the names of some of the famous faces making an appearance this season have been announced.

Returning in season 5 will be Dame Harriet Walter as Lady Shackleton, the old school friend of Dowager Countess of Grantham that Lady Violet invited to tea in order to try and find employment for Moseley, and Peter Egan as Lord Flintshire, Earl Grantham’s first cousin by marriage and Lady Rose’s father.

Joining the cast are some big British character actors, though how they interact with the inhabitants of Downton and how many episodes they will be in has yet to be disclosed.

First up is Richard E Grant. The star of Gosford Park and The Iron Lady will be appearing as Simon Bricker. Grant was most recently seen in the season premiere of the current season of Girls as Jessa’s rehab mate, Jasper.

Photo: HBO

Also joining the cast is Four Weddings and A Funeral and Pride and Prejudice star Anna Chancellor. She will play Lady Anstruther. I have long been a fan of this amazing actress who somehow manages to make me hate her in every role she plays. Based on this history, I wouldn’t be surprised if she turns out to be someone that plots to bring down the Crawley family or tries to set herself up as competition to Lady Mary for the heart of her suitor.

Photo: Jon Enoch / The Times

Rade Sherbedgia’s (X-Men: First Class and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1) Kuragin is the only character in which his description gives us an inkling about what’s in store for the fifth season. It has been revealed that he’s playing a Russian refugee who flees to the UK in order to escape the Russian revolution following the end of World War I.

Photo: 20th Century Fox

In commenting on the casting news, Gareth Neame, Downton’s executive producer, said, “We are delighted to welcome these talented actors to the world of Downton. The characters they play are set to bring yet more excitement and intrigue to the show.”

Though not surprising, it was also confirmed that there will be a 2014 Downton Abbey Christmas special.

The fourth season of Downton Abbey is currently screening in the US on PBS. ITV will airs the fifth season on British screens autumn this year.


Clare Sidoti
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