Although it is not so long since Jessica Brown Findlay left Downton Abbey, she is rarely recognised as Lady Sybil, the character she played on the show to such heartbreaking effect.
Minus the corsetry, the satin and pearls, and without the background effects of chinking china and the bowing and scraping of servants, she is surprisingly like any other 23-year-old.
Of course, she is a particularly beautiful one, dressed today at her publicist’s London office in a simple striped T-shirt and jeans, her hair, tinged with red, flowing.
“The only time I’ve been sort of recognised was in the States,” she says. “I was working on an independent movie called Lullaby in which I play a New York Jewish lawyer. To get the accent right, I decided not to drop it, even when I wasn’t working.
“I was in a coffee shop and someone said to me, ‘You sound just like an American Lady Sybil!’. I nearly died – how embarrassing to admit that you’re walking around pretending to be an American! I thought: ‘Oh God, no. You’re a proper actor now.”
written by Michelle on 25 March 2013