A new voice was brought to Downton Abbey by Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, played by Elizabeth McGovern.
Actually and figuratively, really.
McGovern played Cora, an American woman who became a member of British culture, for six seasons, from 2010 to 2015.
Some thought that Downton Abbey included an American character to appeal to U.S. viewers as an award-winning television series.
But that was not the reason Cora was made, according to the series’ producer, Julian Fellowes.
For her wealth, the Earl of Grantham married Cora Crawley.
Fans learn some details about the marriage of Hugh Bonneville’s character Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, and his wife Cora in the early episodes of Downton Abbey. They did not marry just for love, even though they were happily married.
Actually, Robert made it clear in some scenes that he married Cora for her money.
And only then did they fall in love with one another.
Cora’s fortune as the daughter of a multimillionaire helped keep Downton Abbey running.
After all, running a massive house with a large staff and a sizable estate in the English countryside is costly.
“Downton Abbey”: part 1 of a house that was not filmed at Castle Highclere.
A character with different viewpoints was wanted by the maker of “Downton Abbey”
Cora was the only character in the immediate family who was raised differently when “Downton Abbey” debuted on Sept. 26, 2010. Her daughters, Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith Crawley (Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil Crawley (Jessica Brown Findlay), grew up in the upper middle class of England when she was young in America.
Cora had different ideas than the rest of the Crawley team, and this was the way Fellowes wanted it. In a 2015 interview, he told The Independent that he did not make Cora American to increase American viewership, but to deliver a contrast of characters.
“In that sense, we didn’t care about international sales.
For me, the advantage of the American wife was that I had a core character that wasn’t dyed in upper middle class fur,’ he said.
‘Downton Abbey’: Why Laura Carmichael has almost never been cast as Lady Edith Crawley
“You could have one of the main characters who didn’t take all of that for granted and question it the way Cora did,”You could have one of the main characters who didn’t take it all for granted and question it the way Cora did.
Throughout the run of the critically acclaimed series, McGovern played Cora before reprising her part for a Downton Abbey film in 2019.
A sequel is already in the works, too, so fans can hear about Downton’s people upstairs and downstairs.
Elizabeth McGovern has won 3 Downton Abbey SAG Awards.
Downton Abbey kept showing up at awards ceremonies during the series’ run. For her portrayal of Cora, McGovern received an Emmy nomination in 2011.
And she earned a Golden Globe nomination the following year, in 2012.
For her individual success in Downton Abbey, the actress did not win any major awards, although she took home several industry awards with the rest of the cast.
In 2013, 2015, and 2016, the series received three Screen Actors Guild Awards for Ensemble in a Drama Series.
At press time, “Downton Abbey” seasons 1 through 6 are available to watch on Amazon Prime Video and Peacock.
Why Elizabeth McGovern, star of Downton Abbey, prefers her career over ex Sean Penn