Dames of Downton

Shirley MacLaine Chats About Her Role On Downton Abbey

For all you rabid Downton Abbey queens salivating for the next season to bloomin’ start already, here’s a bone for you. Academy Award-winner Shirley MacLaine spoke with TV Guide about her character, Martha Levinson, mother of Lady Cora:

I sort of had to make her personality up,” Shirley says. “She is from Long Island and finally lands at Downton Abbey and sees what’s happening to the place when everyone’s coming back from the war.” What makes Martha interesting, she adds, is “her reactions to tradition and the class system. I do my best to be kind to tradition, but frankly think it should shift.”

A longtime believer in reincarnation, Shirley adds that going to the Downton set was like “stepping back in time. The whole place seemed haunted and full of otherworldly spirits.”

That’s all really sweet, but what gays want to know is what’ll happen when Martha Levinson comes up against Maggie’s Smith’s wicked Dowager Countess. MacLaine says, “Our characters’ relationship is probably not what you’d think. Maggie and I are both so old, we have a lot of time on us to discuss.”

What?! Does that mean no bitch fights? No verbal hair pulls? No compliments sealed in barbed wire? If not, we insist at the very least they sing this deliciously catty ditty from Disney’s The Happiest Millionaire.

[Image via
Tony Shek/Wikipedia

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  • James

    OMG, I loved The Happiest Millionaire growing up,

  • No!

    Ugh, I can’t stand her.

  • Cam

    I’m glad to hear that the BBC isn’t going to do some weird imitation of Dynasty and have Maggie Smith and Shirley McClaim slapping each other and falling into fountains.

  • 1equalityUSA

    I dated someone who had strung all of those fight scenes together in one long cat fight. One minute the ladies would be rolling around in the mud, the next had a painting slammed over the head so hard the head popped through the canvas, the next was a pool scene. Odd tape. Much effort went into making this montage. I don’t see Downtown Abbey going there.

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