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Dan Stevens on Leaving Downton Abbey: “There Was Never a Big Game Plan”

Dan Stevens is a really busy man with a flourishing profession proper now, however again in 2012 when he selected to depart Downton Abbey, many have been shocked by the choice. (And some followers have been downright outraged because the transfer led to the demise of his character.) The present was an enormous hit and confirmed no indicators of slowing down at that time; why stroll away from such a superb factor? Turns out, Stevens had his causes and that selection seemingly performed a serious position in carving a path in the direction of huge credit together with The Guest, Beauty and the Beast and, most just lately, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and in addition Dave Franco’s directorial debut, The Rental.  

With Eurovision Song Contest debuting on Netflix immediately, I just lately acquired the prospect to speak with Stevens for an upcoming installment of Collider Connected, a collection devoted to highlighting a creator’s total filmography, paving the way in which to their latest releases. So that, in fact, meant we needed to focus on his expertise on Downton Abbey. When he first signed on for the present, Stevens did have a couple of TV mini-series underneath his belt, however Downton was his first full blown collection so we mentioned the most important surprises and challenges of leaping right into a manufacturing like that for the primary time:

downton-abbey-dan-stevens-michelle-dockery

Image through PBS

“It was a real challenge, just the number of people involved I think with that show. You had 20 main characters really, plus the house! And so it was a really interesting jigsaw puzzle putting that thing together. It should be said that when we started that job though, it felt very much like any other British period drama that we were making. I mean, I don’t think anybody would have said, going into Episode 1 of that, ‘Oh, here comes this freak phenomenon that’s gonna be the biggest watched TV show in Spain ever,’ or whatever. You know, there were some really sort of bizarre things that it became. But when we started out, you know, it was very much an upstairs, downstairs story set in another fancy English house … [At the time], it was a big economic downturn and we were just very grateful for the work, you know? [Laughs] And we had no idea what it was gonna become.”   

But in fact, Downton turned a phenomenon and whenever you’re a part of a present that huge, you’re sure to have extra provides for different roles coming your manner than ever. But the query is, is there any selection to the roles or was Stevens solely being approached for characters much like Matthew Crawley?

“There were a few kind of World War I trenches scripts coming in. And, you know, particularly in England, there are a few narrow bands of things that get made over there, in comparison to say, in America. So yeah, you’re very, very quickly put into that bracket of like, ‘Well, he does posh house dramas, and sort of World War I dramas and anything with floppy hair!’ And I was like, ‘Ok, that’s fine. But I kind of want to do this and that.’ It was like, ‘No, no, no. You can’t do that.’ And so I came to America. [Laughs]”

Clearly Stevens is an actor who tremendously values having vary in his filmography, so making the choice to take the reins of his profession, so to talk, was key. However, it additionally should have been fairly terrifying to depart a thriving present like Downton in an effort to pursue different initiatives so I requested Stevens how he got here to that call himself, and in addition with the assistance of these round him:

downton-abbey-image-dan-stevens

Image through PBS

“Yeah, I mean, a lot of it comes from the support of my wife. We had two small children when we left the UK and she said, ‘Look, this is clearly what we should be doing.’ And initially I came to New York just to do a play, and then I got a role in a Scott Frank movie with Liam Neeson and things just grew from there. But, there was never a big game plan. Everyone was like, ‘What was the plan after you left Downton Abbey?’ There really wasn’t one other than I wanted to do something else, you know? And so what that then becomes is a great combination of people being prepared to see you do something else and coming to you with roles and, you know, auditioning very often, like I did for Scott Frank and him saying, ‘You know what? I’ve never seen you do something like this. I’d love to see you try.’ And that is literally all any actor wants to hear, needs to hear in order to further their career in acting and find things in other areas. It’s very little other than that. It’s just someone else’s preparation to see you do something else. Because otherwise you will stay in the same thing. And also, it’s saying no to some things. So, you know, you say no to those World War I trench dramas initially. You know, I’m sure I will do one again and it will be great, but if I were to just keep saying yes to the same things, then I would stay in that narrow band. So, it’s looking for the right people, finding those connects and things grow from there. And I would say it’s only very recently that I’ve sort of been in a position to actually say, ‘You know what? I want to do this now.’ Half your life as an actor is spent just being like, ‘Well, what’s anybody doing? Huh, they’re making a movie about Eurovision. Great! I’d love to do that,’ you know? That wasn’t me sort of willing that into being. It comes in stages I think.’”

If you’re in search of much more from Stevens, you’re in luck since you’re getting it on Tuesday, June 30th after we drop his full episode of Collider Connected! We focus on his early inspirations, his expertise on Broadway, filming the epic song-along scene in Eurovision Song Contest, and a lot extra!



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Vishal Singh
Vishal is The Flick's editor. His interests include product UX designing and search marketing. He can be followed on Twitter at @Vishal7Singh.

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