Dan Stevens throws ‘Downton Abbey’ creator Julian Fellowes under the bus

A year ago, I had so much love for Dan Stevens and his portrayal of Cousin Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey. Then Dan Stevens wanted to become a movie star and he didn’t want to renew his contract, so the writers and producers of Downton were forced to write Matthew out completely. And then I didn’t love him anymore! There was a rumor going around that Julian Fellowes, who created the series, tried to convince Dan Stevens to come back for the first episode of Season 4 so that the family could relaly “say goodbye” to Matthew in a more meaningful way, and the rumor was that Dan flat-out refused. Basically, the impression was and is that there were some bad feelings by many involved, and the tone and tenor of Season 4 should be interesting. Especially since Lady Mary is going to be getting a new boyfriend pretty quickly. So much for a “period of mourning” for Black Widow Crawley. HOW MANY MEN WILL YOU KILL, MARY?!

Anyway, throughout the scandal, Dan Stevens really didn’t say much. But now he’s given a new interview to Radio Times (a UK mag) about what happened. Guess what? I’m now completely over Dan Stevens. He’s really throwing Julian Fellowes under the bus here:

Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens has apologised for his character’s death during the Christmas special, saying: “I am sorry about that!”

Speaking to Radio Times, the 30-year-old star went on to say: “I think what emerged is that it’s an unwritten rule that you’re not supposed to die on British television on Christmas Day, and that, specifically, was not my doing.”

Stevens’ character, Matthew Crawley, was killed in a car crash after visiting his wife Mary and their newborn baby in hospital. The untimely demise of such a main character, in the last few minutes of the two-hour festive episode, came as a shock to viewers expecting a more uplifting installment of the hit ITV period drama.

Apologising to the viewers who felt Matthew’s fate dampened their festive cheer, Stevens added: “I didn’t have any say in the manner in which he went. Ultimately, it was in the hands of Julian [Fellowes] and the producers.”

The British actor did concede that his demise was better than breaking up Matthew and Mary – the couple who spent two series getting together – by other means. “It was right that he didn’t run off and have an affair with somebody,” he said. “I don’t think that would have been right for Matthew as a character.”

[From Radio Times]

So, Dan admits that it would have been difficult for the writers to come up with a situation in which Matthew abandoned Mary, so what else is there? Of course he had to die! So then it becomes – how should he die? On what kind of time-table? And that’s where Dan is silent, because I think he really didn’t want to come back for Season 4 at all, not even for a flashback or a funeral or something. And the reason Dan Stevens was “done” is because he’s now a big movie star! Or something. Something is going on with him, and it’s not good. He’s lost a lot of weight, his hair is sketchy, his clothes are weird and he just looks so creepy nowadays. I miss my Matthew Crawley.

Fans of Dan Stevens will get to see him later this year… in The Fifth Estate, with Benedict Cumberbatch. The Sad Tale of Dan Stevens is a reminder of just how smart Benedict is about his career – Benedict is in a position where he could easily step away from Sherlock and pursue his burgeoning film career, but Cumby stuck with Sherlock and proved himself to be a true professional. Of course, Sherlock is a WAY better show than Downton, but still.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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74 Responses to “Dan Stevens throws ‘Downton Abbey’ creator Julian Fellowes under the bus”

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  1. sb says:

    Do not compare Sherlock with this soap drama! Everrrrrrr!!!

    • CC says:

      Sherlock is pretty much well shot and acted drivel that only is acclaimed because it has good source
      Material to fall back on, so spare me.

      • Anonym says:

        Amen. I love the Sherlock Holmes stories, I do like me some Cumberbatch, but I’ve tried twice now to watch the series and it’s unbearable.

        Great casting, but it’s written and edited like CSI crossed with Midsomer Murders.

  2. T.Fanty says:

    He looks awful. I saw an interview with him yesterday in which he was talking proudly about how much weight he’s lost, but he just looks unwell.

    • Liv says:

      He looks pretty weird, especially when you know how he looked before. The weight loss doesn’t suit him.

      Plus I’m kind of over Downton Abbey. First they killed Sybil and then Matthew. Just like a trashy soap where everyone has to die who wants to get out.

      • T.Fanty says:

        To be honest (and I know it’s an unpopular opinion), I never got the Downton Abbey thing. I couldn’t get through the first season. And apparently, that was as good as the show got. I can’t even tell if he’s a decent actor, because he really didn’t have anything to work with.

      • bettyrose says:

        I’m with you T.Fanty. I actually loved the first season, but the second season grew more cringe worthy with each increasingly absurd plot twist. By the end, even the fashion couldn’t make me stick around for season 3 (and based on the exodus of actors, I guess I didn’t miss much).

    • Crumpets and Crotchshots says:

      DA is just dreadful. And no comparison between this man and Cumby.

      What the hell is he thinking with this outfit? It looks like he pulled items out of his closet at random.

      • T.Fanty says:

        Yes, I’m starting to feel that the posh British hipster look isn’t working out. One Eddie Redmaye can’t carry all of this sartorial f*ckwittedness.

  3. Nev says:

    So excited for new season. This show is amazing to watch and get lost in!!!!!

    • ZigZagZoey says:

      I guess I am a bit slow this morning, but I really don’t see where he said anything wrong…?

      And he does look so different. I never thought he was overweight at all before, why did he lose weight…Weird.

      • Thiajoka says:

        I don’t see it either. He didn’t really throw Fellowes under the bus in my opinion. He still seems respectful of the show and the fans investment in the Mary/Matthew hookup.

      • Samantha Von Strauss says:

        I don’t understand the venom. He decided he wanted to do plays and also use his college degree so he took a job as a co-editor of a magazine. I would imagine not every actor aspires to Hollywood fame. Btw, I love Cumby, but frankly, I’m worried he’ll sully himself by signing onto the Hollywood Machine. He deserves the money, but I suspect I’ll see a story here in the near future of how he was a favorite but sold himself out.

  4. Amelia says:

    Do they ever learn? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
    Be nice on your way up, because you never know who you’ll meet on your way back down.

  5. Jade says:

    He’s pulling a David Caruso! Dan Stevens, your movie career in danger gurl!

    • Itsjustblanche. says:

      I know! Too big for his britches and not interesting enough looking for leading man status. Also: seersucker. I mean really.

  6. Faye says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and risk having my Downton Abbey fan card taken from me, but here goes . . . I never cared for Cousin Matthew. I always thought he was a whiny, self-righeous little weinie, and he was a bad match for Mary. She was fierce before she hooked up with him, and then her character just seemed lobotomized this season. I actually liked her better with the evil capitalist media mogul from Season 2.

    So, I’m not sorry to see him go, and while he may be very successful in England, I don’t see him hitting it big here. He just does not have charisma or screen presence of Cumby. Nothing wrong with not being a “Hollywood star,” of course, but if that was his goal in leaving Downton, I don’t see it happening.

    Also, it’s ridiculous of him to blame Julian Fellowes for killing him off. By all accounts, Fellowes begged him to come back, at least for the first episode of Season 4. What else could they have done with the character but kill him off? Stevens certainly wasn’t obligated to stay with the show, but there was really no other choice for Fellowes but to kill off the character.

    • Nina says:

      I agree. I never liked Matthew very much. All that drama with and his whining about Lavinia’s money made me want to reach into the tv and slap the crap out of him.

      I think I cackled a bit gleefully when they killed him off!

    • Aeryn39 says:

      I wasn’t a Cousin Matthew fan either. And he’s certainly no Cumby…

  7. Agnes says:

    I’ve thought his new look was for a movie.

    As for BC professionalism the fact that he’s still a part of Cabin Pressure (comedy for BBC radio 4) is saying even more than doing another series of Sherlock :)

  8. Mrs.Darcy says:

    Cousin Matthew needs a scone, he looks painfully thin now.

  9. Poppy says:

    He was so beautiful in Sense and Sensibility. Sigh. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, you need to google asap.

    He looks awful in those photos – loosing weight has actually lost him his movie-star looks, and he’s verging on looking ill (and a bit greasy, urgh).

  10. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    Not everyone can be George Clooney. It looks like he made the worse decision possible and basically shot himself in the foot. I think Melissa McCarthy is even a better example than Benedict because she has really become a movie star – with an Oscar nomination and a string of popular big-screen comedies in her resume and she still hasn’t leave Mike & Molly, which might be considered a lot worse career opportunity than Sherlock. She might have thought – I’m an Oscar nominee, I’m too good for some silly sitcom with a laugh-track and that would be a more understandable reason than Stevens’ decision. It’s not like big producers are throwing scripts at him.

    • mccora96 says:

      Good point, but I’m thinking Melissa gets paid BIG bucks for a “hit” CBS comedy show- much more than her current movie quote. Of course, they could/should start paying her more for movies, so the CBS $$ won’t be as needed or attractive. In comparison, BC probably doesn’t get paid very much for Sherlock (LOVE this show!), but, like Melissa, it’s currently more than a movie paycheck. UK TV stars generally make a lot less money than the one ones in the US do. I’m guessing that BC’s 1st “big” pay day was Kahn in STITD. I’m looking forward to seeing him in more films, but I REALLY, REALLY want him to stick with Sherlock, too!

  11. Mia 4S says:

    Easy with throwing shade there Danny-boy. No one has made you the star villian in a worldwide blockbuster movie yet…and let’s face it they probably won’t.

    The weight loss is suspiciously timed to his Hollywood jump.

  12. CC says:


    He was (was being the correct term) attractive in S1, then he let himself go in S3 and goes to such an extreme weight loss? His skin looks baggy ….

    And not everyone will be a mega star. Most would give their right arm for steady work. Especially the ones who threw it away and then got nowhere. Sarah Michelle Gellar comes to mind. Leaves Buffy, tries to make moves, makes a string on crappy movies, sinks into irrelevance, tries to get a new TV show, but the magic is gone.

  13. Jess says:

    It’s a crappy show and Julian Fellowes is a renowned dickhead, so I don’t blame Stevens for leaving. Playing a character like Matthew on a show like that for too long would ensure he was forever viewed as a soap actor. He’ll never be a major star but he can certainly find better quality work in the UK.

    Not sure why anyone would expect an uplifting ending from Downton anyway? First season ended with a miscarriage and the start of WWI, second season ended with a much loved character being arrested for murder…it’s a silly soap after all, bad things are going to happen constantly so as to give all the otherwise banal characters something to get in a flap about.

    • ncboudicca says:

      I almost stopped watching after the whole Edith pseudo-romance with the wounded soldier who may or may not have been her cousin who suffered from amnesia after the Titantic sank and then became a Canadian without an English accent and then took off in the middle of the night while they were researching his identity…and that was the end of that story arc. So stupid. Yet…I love the clothes. I can’t stop watching.

    • grabbyhands says:

      OMG THIS! I was beginning to think I was the only one who felt like this.

      God-the guy has the right to take whatever job he wants. Just because people love the show (myself included)doesn’t mean he’s obligated to do it forever when it isn’t what he wants anymore.

    • Isa says:

      I loved the 1st season. The plotlines were not that outlandish yet and I thought the characters were pretty authentic to the period. I stopped watching after the 2nd season. To me, it seemed like I was watching a British period version of Days of Our Lives. Which is fine if that’s what the show wants to be, but it just wasn’t what I liked about the 1st season.

      As for Dan Stevens, Cousin Matthew was quite pretty, but I’m not detecting any trace of it in these pictures. The waifish look is kinda naff on him. He has the right to leave the show, and I think he’s right that killing Matthew off was the best decision for the character. I’m not sure if he’s trying to say that they should have wrapped up his storyline before the Christmas special or exactly what he’s unhappy about though.

      • Marie says:

        Yes! I too stopped watching after the second season and man was that awful. I think the show had alot of promise but it never materialized. Instead it relied on cheap story devices and a dragged out romance. Also, just because a show is good why should it run for 5+ years and eventually become a shell of itself? I’d rather have quality over quantity and the poor actor is getting the brunt of it.

  14. mom2two says:

    I don’t know. Reading his comments, it doesn’t sound to me like he is throwing Fellows under the bus. They could have killed his character off in an episode before the Christmas show…so it’s not up to him when they kill off his character before his contact ended. Just him not renewing and refusing to come back to give them time to end the story probably pushed up their timeline anyway.
    That being said, if he were smart, he would have stayed on Downton while getting the other gigs. If BC (who is getting higher profile gigs)could do it with Sherlock, surely Dan Stevens could have done it with the show that was giving his career some traction. That’s what makes him come off bad.

    • P.J. says:

      Maybe Stevens was naively thinking that success in other acting roles would come as easily as playing Matthew in Downton. But huge hits like DA are rare. I agree he should have kept his job in Downton while doing other roles. He certainly would have time to do both.

      Yes, he does look ill now. Painfully thin.

  15. Talie says:

    Honestly, I think a lot of it came down to him not getting awards attention last year when the Emmys went crazy for the show. Michelle Dockery kind of surpassed him, as well as Rob James Collier.

    • Uzi says:

      Agreed! I read somewhere that Michelle was the highest paid actor on DA, and she’s been nominated for Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG awards. When the series first started Dan was very enthusiastic, doing lots of PR events and praising everything Downton. Somewhere along the line his enthusiasm waned, and he started making disparaging comments and whining about DA taking up too much of his time. I think his ego got a bit bruised when Michelle and other cast members started getting more attention than him. According to either Fellowes or DA’s producer, I forget which, they were willing to work around Dan’s schedule so he could “pursue other opportunities” (the reason he gave for leaving the show), but Dan wasn’t interested. His Broadway show concluded right before season 4 began filming, so he would’ve been available to do the first episode, or pop in a couple of times in future episodes so the character of Matthew could’ve “gone away for business.” Instead Dan booked a small supporting role in the Wikileaks film starring BC; other than the money, how could this be a bigger career opportunity than a major part in an international TV phenomenon? I think there’s more to this story…

      And I agree about Rob James-Collier…fingers crossed he gets an Emmy nomination!

    • Lauren says:

      People slagged off RJC when he decided to pursue acting (he has a degree in economics). I’ve been a fan of his since he was on Coronation Street (which is quite popular in Canada as well). When Rob got nominated at the soap awards and won for best male hunk he said he didn’t wanted to be rewarded for his looks (and people of course attacked him saying he had no real talent anyways). Then when his character Liam was killed off on Corrie a lot of fans were angry and I was one of the angry fans. I adored his storyline/ the chemistry with his co-star/ love interest Alison King. People then said Rob better not think he was gonna get any jobs because his acting was ‘wooden’ and he could forget about not being typecast as a hunk.

      Rob himself said he started to panic after leaving Corrie wondering if he made the right choice when finding jobs was hard. But he worked really hard and it took some years before the DA opportunity popped up.

      I don’t believe anyone should be knocked for trying to pursue other things in their career. Many fans in the UK and Canada who were familiar with RJC before DA are extremely proud of his decision in the long run. He has improved as an actor and moved on the greener pastures.

      RJC left Corrie in much the same way Stevens left DA. Rob was in the middle of a great story arc and then all of a sudden he wanted to take a break and then it became that he wanted to leave for good. The Corrie writers had to re-write/ speed up a lot of relationships in order to accommodate his characters death once Rob made up his mind.

      Of course people don’t think Stevens will do anything else etc. (but like with Rob it was just a lot of angry fans being pessimistic/ understandably upset) but if he works hard I am sure there will be job offers/ good auditions in the UK much like their was for Rob.

  16. Maude says:

    My lady boner for him is completely dead.

    • Londongal says:

      Seconded. He’s lost the whole schtick that made him remotely hot in the first place.

  17. lucy2 says:

    Considering they only do what, 8 or 9 episodes a year, I can’t imagine he wouldn’t have time to do that AND movies or plays during the hiatus. I generally think it’s foolish to give up a steady gig and paycheck, especially on a hugely popular show. And even more foolish to speak poorly of it once leaving.

    He does look very scrawny now.

  18. grabbyhands says:

    I’m in the minority here because I don’t know why he keeps getting so much hate. I get it it-he made an unpopular decision with the viewers, but the maybe after three years he was tired of playing a role, however popular, which was likely to typecast him.

    He has the right to a career of his choosing, and contrary to the idea that he got too full of himself and decided he was going to be a movie star, all I’ve read indicated that he was more interested in stage work and work in London with the city.David Caruso was a giant, arrogant jerk when he left TV-I haven’t seen that type of behavior from Dan Stevens yet.

    I was crushed when Matthew died too, but it was really the only credible way for his character to leave the show. I think people are really pressed that he’s not pretending to agonize over his decision.

    • Sachi says:

      You are right. He never proclaimed he’d be taking over Hollywood and he’d be a big movie star. All he’s ever talked about is that he wanted to work outside Downton Abbey.

      But of course, the knee-jerk reactions of the fangirls about his departure from the show translated a simple, “I want to have more opportunities beyond the show” (paraphrasing) to “I want to be an A-list movie star, I’m moving to Hollywood, and I’m going to be popular!”

      Suddenly he was arrogant and presumptuous of his future success. Cue the “He’s just another David Caruso, ungrateful jerk! I hope his career tanks and he fails!” cries.

      He didn’t just up and left the show like Mandy Patinkin on Criminal Minds. Mandy just didn’t show up to table-read one day, didn’t tell anyone about it, and had the producers re-write the whole season without him. Now THAT, was really unprofessional.

      Good for Dan Stevens for refusing to be a sell-out and sacrificing his craft just because the show is popular. The writing for his character has become shitty and the show itself has declined massively from Season 1.

      If the show proves to be a hit for Season 4, I don’t see Fellowes stopping it at 4 seasons. He’d probably prolong the show to 5-7 seasons as much as he prolongs “Edith is ugly and unlovable” storyline. Yuck.

    • Bijlee says:

      Yeah people are really overreacting with this. And he is pretty professional about leaving the show. I don’t see how it’s a big deal. He left crawley died, it’s okay.

      • Latisse says:

        Look, I always hated his character on DA and was glad he was killed off so I am def far from a “fangirl” for him. It was only when I found out how ungracious he was about the whole thing: refusing to shoot even one episode of season 4, refusing to come back for cameos occasionally that I realized he was an ungrateful sh*t. And I don’t think he will make it v. far at all in hollywood, he doesn’t have the looks to be a succesful british import so I do think he will crash and burn and realize he made a mistake. Not rooting for this to happen, just think that it will and I actually feel bad for him.

  19. Miss M says:

    I seriously think people are over reacting at his departure. he just didn’t renew his contract. The producers were dumb to not have people signed for a longer period.

    I am upset at the show after Sybil’s and Cousin Matthew’s deaths, and I won’t be watching DA. Unless, they give a better story-line to Edith.

  20. LAK says:

    He’s a chinless wonder. That type of chin needs weight on the body. That’s why he looks so strange. You don’t notice his lack of a chin so much when he is bigger.

    • boredsuburbanhousewife says:

      Yes! In profile he has no chin! Just one long continuous neck.

      I did not recognize him in the photo at first. He looks like he has been stricken with a serious wasting disease like Lavinia.

    • Sassy says:

      He looked flabby in the neck when he was heavier, but my Gawd, the man looks anorexic now! Not a good look. I thought he was lovely with more poundage.

  21. S says:

    He looks like a budget Scott Disick in these photos.

  22. Jen34 says:

    Cousin Matthew is way too full of himself, and he needs to eat something and buy a box of hair color. He looks awful.

  23. kmil says:

    For an actor to request to be let out of a contract isn’t unprofessional; it happens all the time. Actors have a right to want to move on in their careers, like other professionals; to suggest they should stay in a work situation where they are unhappy implies that actors should just be grateful to be employed at all. Why shouldn’t Dan Stevens pursue other opportunities? Why not leave when a season is ending? And since actors don’t write the script, it isn’t “throwing Julian Fellowes under a bus” to merely point out what’s true.

  24. L.S. says:

    I commented before there were rumors of him using c0-c@-ine. People were furious with me. I stand by what I said before and present his sickly look as evidence.

    • Onyx XV says:

      That was my first impression, L.S., upon seeing these photos. Oh my, someone’s been enjoying his Bolivian marching powder!! He didn’t need to lose weight, IMO, so what other explanation could there be, really.

      And as for his departure from DA, I do think it will be a decision he will regret for the rest of his life. He is not going to get any plum movie roles. He’s just not.

  25. Sachi says:

    I don’t see anything in what he said that can be considered throwing anyone under the bus.

    He basically just said that it wasn’t up to him how he died. And he’s right. He’s not the show’s writer and creator. If anything, he sounded like he had no problems how his character was written out.

    This is how I see Dan Stevens’s departure:

    The character of Matthew has become tedious and useless that dying in a car crash was the most interesting thing to have ever happened to Matthew since he started walking again in Season 2. No, not even his wedding to Mary was exciting. What exactly did Dan Stevens have to work with in Season 3? The writing for his character took a nosedive. He was basically reduced to standing around in a scene, looking sad and whiny, and then saying something about the management of the estate.

    His scenes with Mary became cheesy and over the top. His character was sacrificed to build up the arc of the Earl’s traditional views vs. Branson’s modern take on estate management. Branson’s arc was even more developed than Matthew’s, and Dan Stevens was supposed to be one of the show’s frontrunners! Matthew’s character became weak. His scenes were forgettable because his arc was uninteresting.

    He was within his rights to not renew his contract if his character was being relegated to “Branson’s winger and BFF” and “Mary’s puppy-husband”. He wants to develop his craft and staying in a show just because it’s popular is the worst thing he could have done for his career. He would have been typecast as Cousin Matthew and he wouldn’t get any projects beyond period dramas.

    He’s not a very good actor so doing as much opportunities beyond Downton Abbey as he can is a good move to make. He’s not ungrateful for the exposure DA gave him but he’s also not gonna be a sell-out and stay in a show just because it would have kept him on TV and the money was good.

    And Michelle Dockery may be getting lots of publicity and attention, but what projects does she have besides Downton Abbey? Most of her roles outside of the show are not even supporting roles but very, very minor ones. She isn’t exactly on the rise and neither are the show’s other actors.

    • grabbyhands says:

      Yes to everything. :)

    • Claire says:

      Ftr, Michelle Dockery is third-billed in an upcoming Liam Neeson-Julianne Moore film, last year she appeared in a lead role in a well-received Sundance miniseries, and has now landed the lead role in Simon Curtis’ next film. So yeah.

    • breathy says:

      we all know starring roles for women are much fewer than those for men anyway.but besides that, michelle dockery has never acted that she can do better than downton abbey and has always praised the show and its writer like a professional does. dan stevens always complained about the show, and the storylines- and while one may be inclined to agree with him about the storylines, it is different coming from us than it is coming from him when julian fellowes gave him the great opportunity when nobody had even heard of him prior to downton abbey. michelle is doing just fine, downton abbey takes up half of her year but she was able to do other projects like restless with charlotte rampling and non stop with liam neeson and julianne moore during their breaks. now she is tipped off to play the lead in a movie simon curtis will be directing. and all that, she remains loyal to the show that helped her gain fame and is actually recognized by award giving bodies as a great actress among her contemporaries. dan stevens wishes he could be half as professional as his (former) co-star.

  26. lisa says:

    i think he’s super ordinary and was lucky to be on any hit show

  27. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    I don’t ask for his permission when I make any major life decisions. People can leave a show in a stupid way (Mandy Patinkin), an obnoxious way (Katherine Heigl), an ‘are you kidding me?’ way (David Caruso) or maybe just leave. It’ll take adjustment to see the character go for the fans, but what are you gonna do? If you’re going to make a voodoo doll for him then why not for Jessica Whatever-Whatever for doing the same thing but in the middle of the season and explicitly to make movies?

    I don’t think he’s said, ‘I’m leaving this show because I’m too good for it and I’m definitely wanting to–and so shall be– a huge Hollywood star, so swallow it, plebes’, so what’s the use in straining for that interpretation in every one of his comments? And now because of the perpetual pain he’s causing it’s the righteous thing to actively want him to fail? I was hearing a lot of discussion out in the world about how he practically shouldn’t be allowed to leave after the finale aired. Kingmakers, why decree that he has to stay?

    The Criminal Minds example was a good one because THAT’s what a self-serious, self-regarding, ungrateful and unprofessional jack-a-nape does. And Patinkin did go on to veritably slag the show in no uncertain terms thinking that in any shade of the morning he would be the sympathetic party when he abandoned them and left them with nothing.

    Throwing under the bus: see Heigl, Katherine.

    If they wanted him to stay for longer, they should’ve written up a different contract. If he was so central to the show, Fellowes would’ve written a season to reflect that. If they wanted their actors to be pained by the decision to leave, Fellowes should’ve written a better show and taken on some other writers to keep his own indulgences and weaknesses in check. If they wanted someone to have no outside ambitions outside of the show, they should’ve hired a robot. It’s weird and awkward when an ostensible lead leaves, but, so it goes. As it is, the size of the cast has a population about equal to Andorra’s so there will be plenty of other characters to ignore in the coming season.

    The man’s going to live his life, so wait until he actually does show some real (not imagined) and verifiable contempt for his breakout role before lighting the torches. And even if he does become disrespectful, who cares? That’s would be on him. But it hasn’t happened.

    Lame character, anyway.

  28. Tig says:

    Re his movie roles- isn’t he starring in “summer in February”? Thought I read this was opening in England this summer.

    • Uzi says:

      Yes, it’s opening this month in the UK (not sure if it’ll be seen anywhere else). Dan also executive produced. Unfortunately for him it’s not getting great reviews. The irony is that it’s a pre-WWI period piece that would’ve appealed to DA fans had Dan not pissed them all off by dumping the show…classic “don’t bite the hand that feeds you!”

      • Tig says:

        Rats! I so want to see this- the source sounded so interesting that I bought it on Kindle. Thanks for the heads up.

  29. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    They killed him in the last episode, and the problem is that he didn’t want to come back next season for a funeral or something? Or, to wait until the first episode of the next season to die?

    If the writers wanted a funeral or mourning period, then they should have killed him off in the second-to-the-last episode, and the problem would be solved.

    I know I’m in the minority, but I really think the show is badly written. There are jarring character changes, and the “solution” to any problem is to kill someone off (how many times are these people going to inherit money?).

    But anyhoo, they COULD have written the story line differently.

  30. Anonym says:

    Honestly, I thought the comments were pretty mild. He wasn’t a writer or producer on the show and that’s a fact.

  31. Amy says:

    I just laughed out loud at whoever said he was the budget Scott Disick in these pictures. So true!

    I recognize him a bit better here without facial hair but it seems like half of Dan Stevens has disappeared! The bobble head look does not suit him.

  32. Snooze says:

    Eh. I never got the attraction. I’ve always found him insipid and he has a weak chin.

  33. Baskingshark says:

    Ermagehrd. He looks horrific in these pics. That shiny blue suit and those vile shoes, I can’t even. And sorry, but he is just not a handsome man at all now. He looked OK in Downton when he had a bit more weight on his face, but it was more the character than him – he’s downright plain now.

  34. gefeylich says:

    Eek. Stevens has obviously lapped down the “But, but – I CAN be as good as Cumberbatch I SWEAR!” Kool-Aid and now thinks of himself as Hollywood leading man material. Dude, better men before you have gone this route (Damian Lewis, Hugh Laurie, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd et al) and all of them were lucky to end up on American TV. You’ll be lucky to be your generation’s Cary Elwes.

  35. Barbara Lifton says:

    Dan is a trained Shakespearean actor who may or may not have a successful career in the future. His story in DA was over when he and Mary had a son and the Estate was solvent. She will now take over as principal heir as her son’s Regent, as she always hoped she could do. Dan wants to be challenged, and has a right to decide not to renew his contract. Fellowes knew this in the Spring of 2012 and should have planned better for it.
    Dan’s weight loss and hair color this year were for his role in Liam Neesom’s crime movie in which Dan plays a drug dealer. He has already let it go back to his natural color, brown- his hair was bleached for Matthew- and if you look at his early publicity photos, he was very thin then.
    He as changed his look for every film and stage role he has played, as he should. Whether he succeeds or fails as you all call it, is unimportant- he has to make a living- he has a wife and two children. Stardom is not necessarily the only way to make a living.
    If you all don’t like him, then don’t see any more of his work.
    And Summer in February has been praised in all media in England.
    I think he is an excellent actor, with an exquisite voice. (Listen to his audio books!)

    • breathy says:

      Summer in February was actually very panned by critics. Guardian, Telegraph, Independent all published very bad reviews for it. Even the “good” reviews are just calling it mediocre.