Michelle Dockery blushes at the word icon. British actress famous for her role in Downton Abbey On Saturday night it picked up the Variety Icon Award presented for the first time at the opening of the also new Canneseries festival. “Icon is a funny word,” he laughs. At 36 years old and with a career that has expanded in the last decade between theater, television and cinema, she does not seem entirely comfortable with the word, and believes that she is very far from the people who for her are icons. “Especially actresses: Eddie Falco, Helen Mirren, Lesley Manville …”.
“It’s a great honor, of course,” she says sitting on a terrace on the beach in Cannes. “Since they told me two weeks ago I had the opportunity to reflect on my career, which is something we don’t usually do, because you always tend to look ahead more. But it’s good to remember your journey, where you started.”
Precisely, one of the things that he has come to do in Cannes, on his first visit to a city that breathes the history of cinema and television, has been to remember how he got here, to this recognition, and to take stock of his career that it started in the theater.
“My first four years as an actress were on stage, I felt at home there,” she says. Tables were his way of falling in love with the profession in adolescence. Above them, he first danced and sang, in addition to acting. “But it was a teacher who encouraged me to go to drama classes and thus I ended up being an actress, rather than a dancer or singer, although I am sure that it would have ended up in something artistic if this had not gone well,” he says.
But obviously, it has turned out very well. She says that Lesley Manville, one of those iconic women, was her mentor and the one who gave her the first tips as practical as recommending an agent. This is how he started on television and after roles and small series he appeared at the casting of Downton Abbey, “convinced that she would not make it” because she was going to face big names. But she did, and it was Lady Mary Crawley for six world-famous seasons that opened the doors to Hollywood for her.
In fact, at the end of the series, she thought it would take time to reengage, that she would be pigeonholed. Just the opposite happened. He fulfilled “another dream”: to work on American television. First in Good behavior, with Juan Diego Botto; and then in Godless. Two series of which she is especially proud. “I feel very fortunate to be a part of these great roles that are being written for women,” she said. “Above all, on television you see less and less stereotypes and more and more real women.”
From Letty, her character in Good behavior, a thief and alcoholic, is still in love. Without daring to say if there will be a third season (“It’s too soon”), he says that he is still in contact with Botto and that he has been one of the characters who has demanded “more energy” from him. “Not only because of his personality, but also because it is the first time that he carried so much weight, that he was almost in every scene,” he explains.
From Godless it is left with the feeling of “community” that they created between the actresses and how that resonated with the moment the series was released, surrounded by the #MeToo movement. “I think women felt empowered by the show; it’s the response I’ve had. It’s something that no one has seen before: a western led by women,” she says.
After the death of her fiancé in 2015, at the time she was finishing Downton AbbeyMichelle Dockery decided to throw herself into work, grab all these opportunities that came out to her. “Acting is where I feel most relaxed,” she acknowledged at Cannes. After the two series, he decided to return to the theater with the play Network, along with Bryan Cranston. But now that it is over, after years of “non-stop”, he has decided to take the vacation and rest he needed. “I have no idea what I’m going to do now, and that fascinates me.”
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Michelle Dockery, the first Canneseries icon | TV