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Shirley MacLaine teases outspoken Downton Abbey role

Shirley Maclaine

Story by Jack Foley

SHIRLEY MacLaine has been dropping some hints about what to expect from her forthcoming role in Downton Abbey.

The Oscar-winning actress described her character, Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern) mother Martha, as “outspoken” and said there would “a little sparring” between her and Dame Maggie Smith.

Speaking to The Daily Mail, she said: “She’s extremely outspoken. They expected me to be bawdy and that’s naturally how I am. How I behaved wasn’t a put-on.”

And referencing the ‘conflict’ between her and Dame Maggie, she added: “We do a little sparring but it’s more sophisticated and adult… My character is really trying to explain to her that you really must grow up and out of this addiction to tradition because this is what got you into the World War.”

The third season of Downton Abbey will premiere on ITV1 in the autumn before heading to US TV screens in January 2013.

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