Lily James

Why Lily James wasn't in the Downton Abbey film

Did you enjoy the Downton Abbey film?

Emmy Griffiths

While the Downton Abbey film, which was released back in 2019, was a huge hit, there was one key member of the cast who didn't reprise her role from the TV show - Lily James.

READ: Everything we know so far about the Downton Abbey film sequel

The actress, who has since gone on to find worldwide fame starring in films such as Baby Driver, Mamma Mia 2 and Cinderella, played Lady Rose MacClare in the TV series - so why didn't she return for the film adaptation?


Lily's character Rose didn't appear in the 2019 film

Chatting to People, Lily previously opened up about the reasons behind her absence from the movie, and explained: "My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be farfetched to bring her back. I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie it can’t be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline. There was no space for Rose." 


Hopefully we will see the character in the sequel

However, there were clearly no hard feelings, as she continued: "I’m so excited for it — I’m going to be front row. I spoke to Laura [Carmichael] not long ago and was texting Michelle [Dockery] about Love Island and it’s going to be really exciting. And the whole gang is coming back." 

MORE: Joanne Froggatt shares never-before-seen photo from set

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WATCH: Lady Carnarvon welcomes us inside Downton Abbey

So could she be in the film sequel? Not much is known about a possible second instalment, but producer Gareth Neame has confirmed that a sequel is in the pipeline. The producer told the Hollywood Reporter: "We're working on what the story is, and when we might be able to make it. But it's the same as the first time around: we have to try to get everyone back together again. The challenge will be, is everyone available at the same time? Can we make deals with them? That will be the challenge."