Belfast Telegraph

Dan Stevens: Leaving Downton was risky

Dan Stevens didn’t set out to make it big, but is enjoying the movies he’s being offered.

The British star rose to fame playing Matthew Crawley in the hit period drama, but left in 2012 to film new projects.

He’s had great success in Hollywood and is busy promoting new movie The Guest, which tells the tale of a soldier who visits the family of a fallen comrade. But when people start dying, suspicions are raised.

“Total leap of faith,” Dan told British TV show This Morning when asked about leaving Downton Abbey. “It seemed like a very, very crazy idea at the time and I knew nothing of what I was going on to do.

“But when the script for The Guest came along, I - without really knowing it - I knew it was the type of film I’d wanted to do all my life really. It celebrated all the movies I loved growing up; the Terminator movies, John Carpenter movies, and it’s just really fun. It made me smile from ear to ear.”

While the film is a thriller, it does have some black comedy, too. Dan especially liked all the action involved with making the flick.

“I wasn’t trying to make it big in a sense; I was just trying to do different things. Like I said, this is the kind of film I’d always dreamed of doing. It’s not the sort of movie that a lot of English boys get to try but it was great honour to be embraced as an American in an American film in this kind of action/ black comedy mode,” he smiled.

Next up for the 31-year-old is A Walk Among the Tombstones, which co-stars Liam Neeson.

The end of the year also sees the release of the third instalment of Night at the Museum, with stars such as Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and the late Robin Williams reprising their roles. In it, Dan takes the part of Sir Lancelot.

While on set he found a Downton fan in Ben, and the pair would often test each other’s knowledge on the show.

“He’s a huge Downton fan, and I don’t know if you know the game QuizUp? But there is a Downton Abbey category and we played back and forth several times. He’s yet to beat me. It’s ongoing!” he laughed.

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