Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery talks her "instant love" for new BBC role

michelle dockery in this town
Downton Abbey star on "instant love" for BBC roleRobert Viglasky - BBC

This Town minor spoilers follow.

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery has spoken about her "instant love" for her role in the BBC's This Town.

The six-part drama series from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight sets the formation of a band in Birmingham's 1980s music scene against turbulent times for the community.

Dockery has a starring role in This Town as Estella, a volatile character who begins the series isolated from her loved ones and struggling with alcoholism.

"Estella at the beginning, she's kind of an outsider. She's been exiled from the estate for talking too much," the actress told Digital Spy. "She's a struggling alcoholic and so she's not spending as much time with her son as she would like to.

michelle dockery, this town

Related: Boss of new BBC show This Town reveals "advantage" of Peaky Blinders connection

"But gradually as the story goes on, she's integrated much more into the narrative and she's a singer. So that kind of gives you a clue as to how she gets involved. She's an amazing character, I just loved her. When I read the script for the first time, I just fell in love with all of the characters in this, it's just so beautiful and relatable.

"They're a real family, and you start to see that as the episodes go on, they come together when the characters begin to come home. It was instant. I just fell in love with her. And every character has so much heart."

Michelle was especially drawn to Estella because her heart shines through the dark moments she's experiencing in the series.

"She's always trying. But it's a real struggle, and because of the situation that she's now been put in, there's so much guilt that she carries," the actress said. "And she beats herself up for what she said and what she's done. So naturally, the drink helps. But like all of these characters, the music helps them in some way express how they feel. Estella is the same."

michelle dockery in this town
Robert Viglasky - BBC

Related: Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery lands next movie role

The Primetime Emmy Award-nominated actress also spoke about the responsibility of playing someone struggling with alcoholism.

"Well, there are times in the show where you see her sober and times when you see her drinking, so I just kind of immersed myself into it, depending on what stage she was at when it came to her addiction," Michelle said. "I approached it in the same way that I would any other role actually, a lot of it comes in the writing and the circumstances that the characters find themselves in.

"And then it's just working with [director Paul Whittington] and whoever I'm playing the scene with as to how I'm sort of playing her physically. So I guess that's all I can kind of tell you as to what you then see of her as the show goes on."

This Town will premiere on BBC One and the BBC iPlayer on Sunday (March 31).

Alcohol Change UK offers information, advice and support with their questions about drinking and the problems that can sometimes be caused by alcohol. For more information, visit Alcohol Change UK's website. Drinkline also offers free, confidential advice to anyone who is concerned about their own or someone else's drinking on 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm).

Readers can also contact Drinkaware.

You Might Also Like