Dockery: Lady Mary wants a lover
Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery has revealed Lady Mary Crawley is considering the "outrageous" decision to choose a lover over a husband.
The widow - who lost her virginity to a visiting Turkish diplomat who died in her bed in the first series of the ITV show - is ready to move on after the death of husband Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens).
And Michelle revealed that Lady Mary's choice between rival suitors Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen) and Charles Blake ( Julian Ovenden) doesn't have to mean marriage.
She said: "She's edging toward one of the two, Blake and Gillingham, but it's still very much a love triangle going on between them.
"She's not going to make a decision too quickly. I think the audience have got to get used to her being with someone else.
"But it's a very modern decision she's making, or what feels like it. She's exploring the idea of being with a man intimately before she settles down with them. Which is outrageous!"
And Michelle admitted she enjoys Lady Mary's forward-thinking attitude.
The actress said: "She's embracing her independence and her new life. She's single, she's back on the scene.
"She's very much an 'in the moment' kind of person, if anything she looks forward, she doesn't dwell on the past. She takes things as they come, which is very modern, I guess.
"She doesn't always make the right decision, she sometimes makes outrageous decisions. Which is what makes her interesting, she's not just a boring period drama character."
And Lady Mary is not the only one with romance on the horizon in series five.
Dame Maggie Smith's character, the razor-tongued Dowager Countess, could also be getting a suitor.
Penelope Wilton, who plays Isobel Crawley, told the Radio Times: "The Dowager has a romance that comes back into her life who we will see more of."
Penelope revealed her character might also find love, saying: "There's romance in the wings. So whether that will work or not, we don't know. Some people in Downton are very happy for me to have romance, and some people aren't so happy, so it sort of hangs in the balance."