Former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens thinks it's "slightly surprising" just how many people asked him about appearing in the movie, considering what happened to his character in the television series.
While promoting his upcoming comedy Blithe Spirit recently, the actor took some time out to reflect on his time on the beloved period drama.
When questioned by Digital Spy whether it ever gets tiresome being quizzed about it – you know, given that he hasn't been a part of it for quite some time – he chuckled about how fans and industry professionals hoped he would reprise his role as Matthew Crawley in the long-awaited big screen outing.
After all, his character died back in a car crash in 2012's Christmas special.
"I left that show eight years ago now. Film executives – people who really should know better – say, 'Are you in the movie?' I'm like, 'Did you watch the show? Do you know how that ended?'" he laughed. "They still hope that I'll appear in a shower scene of some form."
While Matthew only appeared in the first three seasons of Downton Abbey, it's safe to say that the fictional figure made quite the impact, and was talked about frequently by the remaining characters on the show for the rest of its runtime. So it's not completely absurd that viewers still have him in mind.
At the time of his tragic death, Matthew – who had already survived World War I and the Spanish flu – had been driving back to the titular estate to reunite with his wife Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and meet their new baby son.
His accident sparked a season-long grief storyline for Mary, as well as a fear of dangerous driving, which reared its head when she eventually moved on and became romantically involved with amateur racer Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode).
"I'm incredibly grateful for everything that that role and that show gave me," Stevens continued. "And also, you know, learning to put my faith in fortune, I guess, and following instinct, and following the advice of good people around me.
"Yeah, just continuing to follow that path."
Downton Abbey, the series, is available to stream now on Amazon Prime Video in the UK. The feature-length film is currently included in Now TV's Movies pass. Blithe Spirit is set to be released on Sky Cinema on Friday, January 15.
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