Ever since a second film was officially confirmed, Downton Abbey fans have been on the countdown. And now that the period drama franchise has released a first look of filming – which is currently underway – the excitement has only risen.
Avid fans of the show are no doubt looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces returning to Highclere from the likes of Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery all reprising their roles – but what about the newbies?
Earlier this year, the team at Downton announced that four new stars would be joining the cast: Dominic West, Nathalie Bate, Hugh Dancy and Laura Haddock. But who are the actors and, more importantly, who will they be playing? Find out what their roles could entail below...
WATCH: Downton Abbey film official trailer
Dominic West has had a busy year. Not only did he star in BBC's The Pursuit of Love in May, but he's also, according to reports, due to start filming for The Crown series five this month. In addition, it was announced in March that the actor was joining Downton Abbey for the sequel film.
The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye reports that The Affair actor is set to play a wealthy aristocrat who is invited to stay at the eponymous stately home by Lord Grantham. How exciting!
Dominic will play a wealthy aristocrat
French film star Nathalie Baye is joining the cast with plenty of credentials under her belt. Throughout her 50-year-plus career, she has starred in many French and Hollywood films including The Assistant and Catch Me If You Can, alongside Leonardo Di Caprio. Nathalie has scooped ten nominations at the César Awards, the French equivalent to the Academy Awards.
According to The Sun, Nathalie will star in Downton Abbey 2 as an old friend of Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham who is, of course, played by Maggie Smith.
Nathalie Baye will play an old friend of Violet Crawley
Hugh Dancy is no stranger to period dramas. One of his first major roles came in the form of playing the titular character in the 2000 film adaption of David Copperfield alongside Sally Field and Paul Bettany. He's also known for his other parts in shows and films like: Hannibal, The Path and Black Hawk Down.
It's not yet known what part Hugh Dancy will be playing in the Downton sequel – however, the actor has been spotted on set! The actor could be seen dressed in smart 1920s attire alongside Michelle Dockery's character, Lady Mary Crawley. An acquaintance of the Crawley family perhaps? We can't wait to find out!
Hugh Dancy has been spotted on set filming with Michelle Dockery
Laura Haddock is another star that has acted previously in period dramas, so we're sure that she'll fit right in on the Downton set.
We can't wait to see Laura Haddock in Downton
The actress, who is also known for her appearance in the Inbetweeners Movie, has starred in the modern adaptation of Upstairs Downstairs, The Musketeers and Da Vinci's Demons. It's not yet confirmed who she'll play in Downton, but we can't wait to see her make her entrance at Highclere.
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