It's Official: Dan Stevens Confirms Downton Abbey Exit, Says 'It Was a Very Difficult Decision'

Dan Stevens Exits Downton AbbeyMany a Downton Abbey fan’s worst fear has indeed come true: Dan Stevens, as previously reported, will not be continuing on as Matthew Crawley for Season 4.

UK-based viewers who laid witness to the acclaimed period drama’s Christmas special on Tuesday night gleaned as much — and though this news story will steer clear of detailing how/why Matthew exits the canvas, be forewarned that the commenters below have free reign.

In an interview with the UK’s Telegraph, Stevens says that leaving Downton “was a very difficult decision,” though one that he made before filming on the third and final season of his contract began.  “It felt like a good time to take stock, to take a moment,” he recalls. “From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things.”

Acknowledging that his role as Matthew was “a very monopolizing job,” he says “there is a strange sense of liberation at the same time as great sadness. because I am very, very fond of the show and always will be.” Though he at the time thought he was signing on for any old period drama, he notes that as fashioned by Julian Fellowes, “Anything could happen and generally did.”

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Stevens says it was “very emotional” shooting his final episode, seeing as he and his castmates for three years now have been on “the most amazing journey.

“I don’t think any of us, with the possible exception of Maggie [Smith], have had this kind of explosion in our career paths, and may never again,” he adds. “It has been so bizarre, and only those who have been through it can understand it.”

Stevens — who is currently appearing on Broadway with Jessica Chastain and David Strathairn in The Heiress — looks forward to exploring new and different roles, though knowing how unpredictable an actor’s life can be, admits, “That may not be the case.

“I genuinely don’t know exactly what is around the corner,” he allows, “but I hope it will be something a little bit different.”

Downton Abbey Season 3 makes its Stateside premiere on Jan. 6, on PBS. (Watch a recap video of Seasons 1 and 2.)

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179 Comments
  1. wassita says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Templar says:

      Yes! He was so imitating Heydon[sp] Prowse with his facial expressions. Anyone could see he was bored out of his skull.

    • Amma says:

      WHY WHY WHY. Doesn’t make any sense why Matthew is leaving. It will be interesting to see what they will come up with his absence. Sorry to see this happen but I in NO way will ever stop watching Downton Abby. I absolutely get so drawn in with each character. It’s an awesome series and I hope it goes on and on for years to come till I am in my grave…keekee..J/K

    • Susan says:

      In the uk he allegedly said that he thought the storyline was absurd, especially when he was paralyzed and then started walking again. Many actors have left successful shows to end up nowhere.

    • I AGREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cant bare it Mr. Carson.

  2. Claire says:

    This makes my heart sad. I think I stopped breathing for a few seconds when I saw the title of the article. :'(

  3. Bear_75 says:

    It’s true! It aired in the UK last night for the ‘Christmas Special’ x

  4. I know lots of people were upset and even angry at how he went out… but I actually liked it. Sure, it made little sense if you start breaking things down logically but as a character moment, it was edited together well for maximum effect.

    Plus, the show works so much better when they focus less on the men. So one less man can only be a good thing.

    • Astrid says:

      I must agree with you. I find the women’s storyline much more interesting than the men’s. But I do think it’s sad that Mary and Matthew finally got together and then BUM!
      But lets see how they work it out. I for one can’t wait till season 4 :)

    • Gwen says:

      But they are gonna replace him it’s not like the character is going away

      • Hayde says:

        I think he dies, so the character is gone!

      • BuckeyeNV says:

        that’s an interesting thought………..he could be horribly scarred or burned in the wreck – and after extensive plastic surgery (still in its early stages of course lol) Matthew returns looking like Matthew McConaughey with an American accent…….hahahaha – that would be awesome :)

    • WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!!!!!!!!

  5. kmetzger says:

    noooooo :-(

  6. TVWhovian22 says:

    Watched it last night, Julian stop killing beloved characters, this isn’t some Joss Whedon show, but I understand why Dan wanted to leave. Oh now the waits on for series 4…

    • Viewer who remembers others don't watch illegally says:

      I already watched it, but way to post obvious spoiler info 6 comments in on a US-based site. Have some consideration, seriously. And Julian Fellows isn’t at fault when the actors are getting too big for their britches and asking to leave the show. Don’t blame him for having to deal with their overblown egos.

      • Monica4185 says:

        Agree I don’t why people are blaming Julian Fellowes for this. Dan Stevens wanted to leave. So bye bye. I’m still watching, I like the other character far more than Matthew anyway.

        • Drdan11546 says:

          Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were able to work around their world fame schedules and still be involved in Sherlock. I think it was a bad decision and think Dan messed up.

      • Lissa says:

        Really? Because the author of this article who actually works for TVLine clearly stated “be forewarned that the commenters below have free reign” so no one called for an officer of the Spoiler Police to come over here and lecture.

        • tripoli says:

          The point still stands. It’s completely unnecessary to spoil it for the many people who have yet to watch it. At least have the decency to write a big bold spoiler alert at the start of your comment if you are incapable of commenting sans spoilers. And TVLine has become pretty damn awful with the spoiling issue so someone’s gotta be on alert.

          • Spoiler Warning says:

            Car crash.

          • Alex says:

            Why don’t you stop whining and crying like a baby when you came into the comments section knowing that spoilers are not being discouraged here? In fact, given what was said in the article, you could pretty much expect someone to discuss Matthew’s death, yet you’re still moaning and bitching about it. GROW UP!

      • Funny, but I didn’t see anyone post that Matthew was killed in a car wreck right after Lady Mary gave birth. I mean, on top of Lady Sybil’s death after childbirth mid-season. Now THAT would have been a spoiler.

        • Erin says:

          Wow, man…I mean, I already knew, but you must have known how big of an ass you were being by posting that.

        • sam says:

          Yes. mathrew is as dead as a door nail. the scene ends with his vacant eyes and bleeding from his ear, so unless fellows plans to bring him back from the dead, he is as dead as can be! I am really mad both with Dan and Fellows!

        • MauiGirl says:

          Thanks……thanks a lot.

        • face913 says:

          Ah-hahahahaha! Priceless! This is EXACTLY what I was looking for when I came to this article, especially when the write explicitly stated that commenters could possibly spoiler this season here in the comments section. JACKPOT!!! For every bitch-ass who complains, they should understand that they need to go to a moderated site that screens comments before posting if they don’t want to get butt-hurt. There are those of us who come seeking the spoilers from dedicated asses (that term is used in the most adoring way) like you. Thanks so much! You’re a doll. :D

      • Barbara Lifton says:

        You don’t have to watch Season 3 illegally. I live in New York City, and have the DVDs of the entire Season 3 of Downton, and will be receiving the DVD of the new Xmas Special sometime this week. (Between Jan. 2nd and 6th.) If you want to watch them now, go online to amazon. co.uk and order the DVD from the UK. All you need is a credit card like Amex- they turn pounds into dollars and bill your card. They come in the US/UK disc mode- no problems with playing on our DVD player.
        Dan was obviously bored with the role during Series 3. Not only was his performance annoying, (except of course the love scenes with Mary), but he started to gain weight again. Think Fellowes is making a big mistake going forward with Series 4. The M/M relationship central to series. THey were the only characters in the series other than Sybil, Tom and the Dowager, that I liked!
        What about a new series set in present day England? Bet there are plenty of upstairs/downstairs householdsl even now!
        Dan was good in the Heiress although not as good as I thought he could be. will see it again before it ends on 2/10/13. Maybe he’s tired? Or his new baby keeps him up at night?
        Hope he has a wonderful career- maybe some Shakespeare here in New York!

        • BuckeyeNV says:

          You can order all three seasons from the US Amazon now……..the full un-cut British versions – not the chopped up PBS versions….

    • kris says:

      I think it was a real bad error of judgement on the part of Fellows to have a this type of abrupt exit for Mathew. He could have just sent him away for a couple of months and have him back for a few episodes and Dan may have re considered that.

      Mary& Matthew have been the central figures in the story line from the beginning and Mathew too should have realized that. killing Matthew off, was not the best decision especially fro a christmans special..what is so chrsitmassy about that!

      since there was nothing about Mathew being dead actually mentioned before the ending of the scene you could still resusitate him and bring him in some form. I think Dan owes it to his fans who has elavted him to the staus of a “movie star” through this series. This is the only way Dan can redeem himself in the eyes of his adoring fans.

      Dan please come back in some form, and let us enjoy your character in season 4 as well. Mr Fellows it is our earnest appeal to you to take us seriously and return of Mathew could make the series 4 hugely popular!

      Please don’t declare Mathew dead and start series 4 from a hospital scene, you could use the same scenes from the post war period, just put the same scenes in a proper bedroom of the abbey.

      • Sarah Dixon says:

        I agree. Fellowes has spent three series developing the character as the next earl, and I think dramatically DA is going to struggle next series. There are ways he could have been written out that weren’t final and left the way open for a cameo appearance.

    • addlady says:

      Haha if this was a joss whedon show being dead wouldn’t stop him! <3 this comment BTW.

  7. T. says:

    I watched the Christmas Special and I was heartbroken after that last scene. That romance was just so epic that I couldn’t believe it ended.

  8. mantua says:

    If he told Fellowes BEFORE they started filming Season 3, then why didn’t he write a more elaborate exit ? It felt rushed. If he did NOT give a heads-up and the Downton-people had to act quick, then he is an ungrateful actor, without the show he would be still a relative unknown, certainly not one on Broadway opposite not one, but two (!) Oscar nominees. They shoot around 6-8 episodes a year, it’s not like he couldn’t have had possibly the time to do ”something a little bit different”. Long story short, I wish him the best, but I don’t think this was a wise career move, Fellowes basically made him the male lead around the second season and his romantic relationship was also the central part of the show, I doubt he did all that just to have the character (SPOILER) in a Christmas special. But then again, it MIGHT make the show better in the long run, now we can see the originally tough, strong female character that is Mary, in her element again. I hope the wonderful Michelle Dockery will take central stage in Season 4, she is a remarkable talent who could EASILY carry the show on her own.

  9. gary says:

    How the hell do you have Downton Abbey without Matthew?

    • mano says:

      I agree. Fellow should have planned a better exit like sending mathew on a long business trip or something, and Dan Steven could have come into his sense later and could have re casted him atleast in a few scene in series 4. I think Dan owes it to the show, as someone has said he was a relatively unknown character before this. He must be a very slefish perosn to have pulled out at such a key point. I guess tha character of Mathew Crawley, the higly principled balanced individual fighting for social justice doesn’t really translate into who he is as a person in reali life..As much as I wish him well I am extremely disappointed the way he has let all his fans down, he enjoyed all the fame and then went out in shame!

      Fellows could have planned a better exist leaving hope for Dan and the fans to have the character again in series 4. May be it is still not too late. He can always rise from the dead. No one really declared him dead at the scene of the accident, so he could still be rushed to hospital and can have a long recovery similar to his psot war episode.

      I hope Fellows will take this suggestion seriously.

      • Sadly with one half of the main story line gone, series 4 will struggle. Personally I think Julian should have struck to his original three series premise. What’s wrong with a “so Matthew and Mary became earl and countess of Grantham and together with their children lived happily ever after?” He should have just let the programme end on a high.

        • Katie says:

          I totally agree. If you have to kill the main characters it’s better to stop the series! Matthew dead so shortly after Lady Sybil is horible. I don’t know what will be the storyline without him in the next season. He and Mary were together too short! I would have liked to see them face more difficulties together instead of her suffering from his death. Much more interesting than this tragedy. The main actress without her true love is not worth watching for me.
          And what a tradful ending of this season. I don’ t see any good storyline for more seasons without the possibility of M&M being together. Better make him come back. Nobody wants such a big love watch to die!!

    • Cindy says:

      We’re still in the middle of Season, apparently , since not only haven’t we seen the Christmas special and Matthew’s accident and the birth of his and Mary’s child, but the death of Sybil — but I’ll look forward to seeing who replaces him in season 4 of Downton Abbey, the new character and the actor (I have some favorite British actors I’d like to see, like Colin Firth (is he too old or too expensive?)

      • amglophile says:

        Colin! Yes! That would be the only consolation at this point! And a guest appearance by Judi Dench! Then all would be forgiven.

      • anglophile says:

        Colin! Yes! Fantastic suggestion
        That would be the only consolation at this point! And a guest appearance by Judi Dench! Then all would be forgiven.

    • Sara says:

      exactly mary and matthew are a epic love story main reason i watch it and maggie smith!!!

  10. Monica4185 says:

    Also this is great not they can go back to basic. Putting the focus on Matthew was lame.

  11. Leina Cochrane says:

    I was heartbroken. I do hope Mr. Stephens does think more highly of himself than he ought as I do agree the show has made him & yes they do only film about 2 months out of the year so he very well can “do other things” very easily. I saaw him on Charlie Rose & he seemed a very capable artist in his own right. I do hope he dose more than Vamps & the like stateside however.

  12. Naazneen says:

    Boohoo Dan Stevens! He’s arguably the male lead, definitely engaged in the shows most pivotal relationship. And he leaves. Argh! Thanks for ruining it for many fans. I was more of a Sybil/Branson fan. And we all know how that ended. I’m rooting for Mr and Mrs Bates now!

  13. cjeffery7 says:

    OMG it was matthew’s evil twin the whole time?!!! *BRAIN EXPLOSION*
    ~~OBVIOUSLY JOKING~~

  14. Anna says:

    I watched it last night and it was just so cruel. I’m soo mad. Mary’s main redeeming quality was her relationship with Matthew. I wonder how this is going affect her in the episodes to come.

  15. Hmmmm says:

    Perhaps, I should just pretend the series ended after last years Christmas special. Sounds like series 3 is going to be a bit too sad.

  16. Sara says:

    I watched it this morning & it was BORING. The only interesting storylines were from the downstairs staff. Even dearest Maggie wasn’t enough

    • mantua says:

      Now THAT was the really sad thing. I am a big Downton-fan, and I felt the same way, this Christmas Special was simply unnecessary in my opinion. Yes, we’ll have a new character on a regular basis and and old one left, but that could have been taken care of in 5 minutes in the actual Season Finale, they didn’t need a 90-minute special to explain that.

      • Mark P says:

        Kinda agree with you. The whole episode seemed pointless and unnecessary. The only big thing that happened was Mary’s childbirth and Matthew’s death. Even the storyline of the old Scottish couple of god-knows-where was really infuriating and boring.

      • Norm says:

        Fellows says that a long separation between Mary and Mathew would not have been believable because their love was strong. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE BELIEVABLE FOR THE FANS THAN KILLING HIM OFF AND KILLING ALL HOPE.! so Mr Fellows as you can see most of the fans are outraged may be you can consider a Dallas like episode for Mathew as well! if you want to seriously taken into account what the fans needs and not WHAT YOU NEED. I am pretty sure even Mr Stevens will see how much of a damage was done when he decided to leave the show and may want to give a bit of his valuable time to the 4th series as well.

        Cybil’s death was not as critical to the show, it was sad, but the moment she decided to go off with that idiot Branson I lost all respect for her character. It was rather easy to get over her death, but Mathew is different he is the central thread that keeps all the family dynamics together..the piece maker, saviour of Downtown, Nay be you can talk to Stevens after you have seen how much the fans are disappointed.

        • Nicki says:

          Too late! Apparently Fellowes already spoke to Stevens about him being in a few episodes of series four- but he won’t agree to it! Let’s just say Fellowes is not to blame.

        • Navymom says:

          I just watched the season”finale”, it was boring, other than M&M, and the Bates. Now Matthew is gone. Where will they go from here. Sick of the stupid stuff between the servants. They could give Edith a real boyfriend, she’s earned that. How about bringing Matthew back. He could need plastic surgery or something, then you could at least get someone close to Stevens, or maybe he will reconsider. When does season 4 start. Season 3 just started and its over already. Why is that, why don’t the last longer.

    • I mostly agree. And what was up with Dame Maggie being in so few scenes?

      • Beth says:

        Glad I’m not the only one who found it a bit dull.

        Dan’s seemingly rushed exit makes me wonder if Lady Sibyl would be alive if Julian Fellowes had known for sure that Dan wasn’t coming back.

  17. Meerna says:

    As long as they keep Branson I’m good…

  18. A grateful fan says:

    Hat tip to you, Mr. Ausiello, who had this scoop back in MARCH, MONTHS before any other media outlet. You made the year a little more bearable for Downton fans — giving us the gift of knowledge and foresight, and spoiling ITV’s plans to spring these deaths on us. Thank you.

  19. Anna says:

    I’m kinda really mad at Dan Stevens. He could’ve just sucked it up and done another season. It’s really cruel to the fans; it isn’t like Matthew is just some supporting character, Downton has been about Matthew and Mary from the very first episode on.
    Am I a bad human being for hoping he doesn’t find a new job for quite some time so he can regret quitting Downton like that for a while? That would only be fair. It’s not like this is a 24-episodes show and he doesn’t have any time left to do other stuff… Oh, well.

    • ben says:

      He already has another job. And from his own perspective it was not about the money, it’s about a variety of challenging roles – he will have plenty of roles in theater even if he doesn’t hit your screens in a while. I agree I’m sad he left, he really was the heart of the show and it won’t be the same without him. But he won’t regret his decision, I’m sure.

    • Nicki says:

      I completely agree with you there. I’m really mad at stevens for leaving! Why does he have to ruin Downton because fame goes to his head? Surely he could have appeared in a few episodes of season four.

    • angie says:

      I think he may have overestimated his current career options, and his talent. His performance in The Heiress has been characterized as “ok”, and while he has enough appeal to do American movies for a while, that option could have waited, and he would not have left this sour taste in the mouths of so many fans. IMO, he has singlehandedly killed DA. Nice legacy.

  20. NoWay says:

    I was like “noOOOOOOOOOOO!” when I realised how they were ending things, seriously couldn’t they have just recast the part? I fear it will unbalance the whole story. I can accept that the actor wanted to do other stuff but I am definitely not satisfied with the writing out!

  21. Larc says:

    It’s a very bad out for Matthew, but Fellowes really had no other logical choice if Dan Stevens is leaving. Having Matthew to abandon Mary and the area for an indefinitely extended business trip would have been totally out of character.

  22. Lissa says:

    Such a tragic death right after he had that beautiful moment with Mary and the baby in the hospital. :( My poor OTP.

  23. Dawn says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! :(
    I understand that why Dan Stevens wanted to leave, but did they have to kill him off, WHY? I’ve been rooting for Mary and Matthew ever since the show started, now we’ve got a child with no mother (Sybill) and a child with no father (Matthew), I was so hoping they would’nt kill him off :(

    • BuckeyeNV says:

      Maybe……Mary and Branson will fall in love and raise the children together at Downton…..Branson can take over when Lord Grantham passes away……..lol

    • GK says:

      I agree. With the state of the ‘real’ world…this story was THERAPEUTIC and in heart warming when so many are suffering – not enough work and family issues, all the wars etc…. It was a healing story…it is wrong of talent to literally abuse the public and their hearts. Those who are “unredeemed” do not understand what the real mission of talent should be….to bind up the broken world so others can face their own realities with a little more sanity and have something to look forward to. Oh well….for myself in my own talents this would be very wrong. We shall see the “fruits” of it. Maybe Fellowes is tired of this one himself and wants to “move on”?? hmm?? Surely a creative thinker could come up with something more creative than another death….so what’s new with that in the world….there are other ways to do things! Good grief Charlie brown.

  24. Linda says:

    Good lord, it sounds like season 3 may be one to skip. I’ve got enough death in my own life without having to grieve over fictional people I’ve come to love. And I guess there aren’t enough riders anymore for people to remember that the term is “free rein,” as in “she gave him free rein and let him run.” *sigh*

  25. Sam says:

    What a bunch of crap. Downton Abbey is dead to me. Merry fricking Christmas.

  26. Fred says:

    I think that this could prove to be an imprudent decision for Dan, but he is young and looking for new adventures. While it is true that Fellowes had to deal with Dan’s departure, I think the better decision would have been to recast Matthew. Mary& Matthew have been the central figures in the story line from the beginning. Can’t imagine where it will go now. Assuming it was necessary to kill Matthew off, it was Not the best decision to kill him off on the Christmas Special. It could have been done off screen and presented as a fact at the beginning of the 4 th series. The audience would have been left with the positive feelings resulting from the birth. much more appropriate for a Christmas show.

  27. Cher Ada says:

    As one other poster already pointed out, the expression is “free REIN”…sigh…doesn’t anyone edit or proofread anyone? Also, Sam, Merry fricking Christmas? What a HORRIBLE expression! )-;

  28. oll says:

    Molly Mary and Bran

  29. Carol says:

    Who’s the heir to Downton now? Would be scared – seems like early death awaits him

  30. How “monopolizing” could a 7 episode-per-year series really be? I’m sad to see him go, mainly because his departure has a huge impact on where the show goes from here. It seems like no one will ever get a happy ending.

    • Susanna says:

      could’nt agree more after seeing it i lost interest to see the 4th series because for me Marry&Matthew were the heart and soul of the series without either one of them the chemistry is gone for ever. and in my opinion He wants to be a star in the US i do not know what it is but like many other British actors/actresses he will not get that famous.

  31. Amanda says:

    This show has gotten so depressing. I know it’s a drama, but still! Matthew was my favorite character, too… I literally screamed Nooooo at my computer upon reading of his impending departure. But, I am looking forward to the “bonding” that I assume will take place between grieving Mary and Branson… and a hopefully hilarious pairing that will follow. Now, that is a train wreck of a storyline that I would tune in to see!

  32. Lori says:

    Being in the US, I don’t know what happens in S3 yet. However, I am sick of the whole Mary / Matthew thing. She is a snobbish brat, worse than “Granny.” The real love story is Bates and Anna or even Carson and Mrs. Hughes.

  33. Ricky says:

    Very sad to see things end like this for Dan , very short sighted and has left the programme with a gigantic unrealistic plot to follow , I see nowhere to go for Downton now , I wonder if things would have panned out like this had the BBC had the show ,

  34. Dizzle says:

    Actors leave shows all the time, this is nothing new. I don’t get why people are so het up about his decision. He’s entitled to the same job options as the rest of us, if he chooses to leave that’s fine with me! Yes the show will be different but isn’t that better than just watching the same show year in, year out? If I wanted to watch that I would tune into the endless procedurals on offer. I for one am looking forward to the new season!

  35. Tina says:

    Although 7 episodes they are lengthy. Sonitbwould equal roughly a full 20-22 episode US season.

  36. B says:

    Let’s just wait and see if his career really takes off after this.

  37. maya says:

    I knew he was leaving, youtube was right-well half right! They said matthew, sybil and o’brien didn’t seal their contracts for season 4 and 5. We know this is meant to be a drama, but sybil and matthew dying, that’s a little too dramatic! And they had to show that depressing scene a day after the most depressing LAST ep of merlin :'( gawd, what’s next? Is mary and branson gunna fall in love and then one of them gets killed?!

  38. mia says:

    He’ll look back on this as a huge career mistake. His career is not going to get as big as he thinks it will.
    .
    I will still be watching, the other characters are my favourites anyways.

  39. Trip says:

    People leave jobs all the time for a variety of personal reasons. Why are actors labeled as ungrateful and egotistical when they want to move on? It’s a JOB. Fans need to get over themselves. He gave more than the notice required–he did everything right in this situation. Whether it is a mistake or not is yet to be determined, and frankly none of my business or concern.

    • Jacqueline says:

      I disagree. It’s really not a job. It’s a career, and one in which LOTS of hard work is mixed in with a bit of luck and lots and lots of competition. Some of the best musicians are playing somehwere on the streets of New York City. Look at some of today’s singers who make it really big. They’re not always the best out there. (I can’t help but think of the Supremes everytime I bring this topic up. No way Diana Ross was a better singer than Mary Wilson.) The world of entertainment is a different beast. You have to put your heart, sweat and blood into it. It’s an art, a lifestyle. Comparing it to a job does not do justice.

      • Trip says:

        I have been working in entertainment on various sides of the camera professionally since 2004. I am aware of what it entails. Every job is a part of a larger career, but considering it “special” is why people in entertainment get such a bad reputation. When I go to set, I say I am going to work; just like anybody else, it is my job. And if an artist, who is in the business of being creative, wants to branch his wings and not be tied to 1 style/character/production, then that is none of my business. He has to do what he feels is right for himself as an artist. Would *I* leave “Downton Abbey?” ABSOLUTELY NOT. Everyone is entitled to their own life choices–and at the end of the day, he gave the team a lot more notice than is required and *they* chose to end it the way it was done; that is not on DS. I wish him the best and hope his next endeavor is as fulfilling as DA and “The Heiress” on Broadway has been. To suggest by leaving a show to be open creatively and available for other projects that his heart, sweat and blood is not in his career is extremely presumptuous.

  40. Matthew couldn’t have just left. His character wouldn’t have done that; it wouldn’t make sense. I liked it.

  41. David P. Graf says:

    I think this is great news! Matthew was a twit and about as interesting as Barbie’s Ken. This gives us a great chance to reenergize the series by brining back a character who could match Lady Mary’s inner strength and give her a real challenge. That’s right – bring back the newspaper publisher! Let him ferret out the facts that could clear Bates and dangle that in front of Mary. That could make for a far more interesting Downton Abbey.

    • You’re a season behind. This is the Christmas Special for series three. Bates is already free.

      • David P. Graf says:

        Allen – Thank you for the update on Bates and for the kind way in which you informed me that my grand scheme to bring back the publisher to Downton Abbey isn’t going to work.. Others on the web would have slammed my ignorance but you didn’t and I appreciate that. Thanks!

      • face913 says:

        Bates is free?!?!?!? Ooooooh, tell me more! How? What did Anna find out? Thank you, once again, for giving me the information I was looking for! You have now acquired a stalker, albeit one who just wants what info you posess about Downton Abbey. ;)

  42. Jo says:

    He’ll regret his case of Mischa Barton syndrome once he realizes nobody in Hollywood is interested in a leading man with 2 chins and no jaw.

  43. lisa murphy says:

    Where are these episodes? I have seen season 2 and i am readinb some spoilers on here that are cataclysmic. I did not see any Christmas episode scheduled nor any other episodes that involve the deaths of major charaters.

  44. lisa murphy says:

    These aren’t spoilers they are nuclear bomBS to me.

  45. Tish says:

    So he wants to leave the show for greener pastures ie Hollywood.

    Mmm. Let’s see, for the past couple of years, four thirty-something Brits have been given deserved attention by Hollywood. Tom Hardy who is charismatic as hell and poised to be the next big action star, Eddie Redmayne who has an angel’s singing voice and supermodel facial structure, Tom Hiddleston who has two blockbuster superhero movies to date and Benedict Cumberbatch who is just mind-glowingly talented that directors/ producers could not shut-up how effing good he is.

    Now, I like Dan Stevens. But I just could not see something in him that would make him standout in Hollywood. We’ll see. Good luck to him.

  46. chris says:

    This final tragedy has sealed Downton’s fate for my viewing as far as I am concerned. The death of Matthew Crawley in such a cruel and bizarre twist of fate is one step too far. We have watched throughout the series in the hope that he and Lady Mary will get together. Finally happiness befalls them in their long awaited marriage and the birth of their son and heir, and then this. Well I have had enough of it. I support Dan Stevens if it was his wish to leave, but for goodness sake, does EVERYONE have to be killed for them to leave ? Enough already. I will not be watching the next series.

  47. Alie Hunter says:

    This is the end of the show. I’m not trying to compare the shows, but Dan’s exit will have the same magnitute as Mischa Burton leaving The OC. A show can’t go on very successfully when a lead actor leaves.

  48. Kathleena Ramos says:

    you can’t have downton abbey without matthew crawley!!!! he is THE ANCHOR of the entire plot. the whole storyline started when HE was supposed to inherit the house. this is the END of downton abbey :(

    • Katie says:

      I totally agree! Mary without him will be dreadful to watch! I won’t! If the actors won’t stay better stop the show

    • Katie says:

      I totally agree! Mary without him will be dreadful to watch! I won’t! If the actors won’t stay, better stop the show. He and Mary are THE plot.
      Sad that Dan leaves and disappoints his fans!!

  49. Lourdes says:

    Although I’m very sad that Dan Stevens decided to move on, having Mary as a young widow with a son as an heir potentially opens up some interesting plotlines for Season 4 where Mary can be as independent as she wishes. It changes the power dynamic in a way that can work, and can also open up plotlines for other characters that may have been neglected. I’m willing to see where Julian Fellowes takes this, and although Dan Stevens is “gone”, there’s no reason to suppose he might not pop up on a flashback or something. I don’t think he left the show on bad terms, so he might be willing to do a scene or two if requested.

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