Downton Abbey: A New Era Star Talks Moments That Made Her Cry, And Teases Surprise Romances In Sequel

Sophie McShera and Lesley Nicol talk as they work in the kitchen in Downton Abbey: A New Era.
(Image credit: Focus Features/Carnival)

As the world gets closer to the release of Downton Abbey: A New Era, it’s going to become increasingly harder to contain the excitement. For everything we do know about this big sequel, there’s at least one or two more questions that seem to be unanswered. The latest from series actor Lesley Nicol might not spill any family secrets from creator Julian Fellowes’ huge follow up, she’s definitely teasing some surprise romances and weepy moments when dealing with this cinematic sequel.

From the sound of Nicol’s remarks, which came from an interview with ET, tissues will definitely be required for the next Downton adventure. As she was promoting How the Hell Did I Get Here?, a new musical autobiography that’s just begun its North American tour, Lesley Nicol looked back on her time as Mrs. Patmore on the ITV hit drama. There was plenty of room for talk of the future too, as Lesley described how she sees the Downton Abbey: A New Era experience thusly: 

It’s absolutely jam-packed full of stuff. There’s so much going on. I mean, it’s funny. I laughed out loud a lot. There’s stuff that made me cry because there’s some romance and stuff you don’t expect. I suppose that’s what I also love about it. I mean, I know what happens, but there’ll be stuff that the audience couldn’t possibly foresee.

Reading through Lesley Nicol’s thoughts on Downton Abbey 2, it starts out innocently enough. You’d expect tears, heartbreak, and heartwarming from a movie of this sort, especially in a universe that had former cast member Dan Stevens apologizing for an untimely death years after it had happened. What really teases the audience though is Nicol’s admission that she knows everything, and the audience won’t be able to predict some of the twists and turns. 

Statements like that are what have kept Downton Abbey fans waiting for A New Era for quite some time. When rumors of an “iconic character” dying in the Downton universe broke onto the internet during production, speculation on who it was kicked into high gear before a trailer was even released. So much so that when the first trailer to Downton Abbey: A New Era finally did come around, the absence of two Crawley family members in a wedding photo was a hot topic of discussion.

Whatever Lesley Nicol and the rest of the cast to the second Downton Abbey cast know, it’s supposedly going to be both pleasing and saddening for the franchise’s loyal followers. Unexpected romance, tear-jerking moments of emotion, and a trip to the south of France are only part of what’s in story in the next tale of the Crawley family legacy. For those who have been with the show since day one, or have even been part of the ride since Downton Abbey: The Motion Picture, what happens next will probably be the subject of much discussion for some time after it’s revealed.

It won’t be too much longer before Downton Abbey: A New Era invites fans and newcomers far and wide to tea, as the film will be debuting in the UK on April 29th and in the US on May 20th. That’s only part of what’s in store for the upcoming movies set to debut throughout the year. Last, but not least, if you want to revisit the entire Downton story, from the first episode to the previous movie, it's all available to stream on Peacock! 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.