BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Aug. 3 (UPI) — Laura Carmichael and the Downton Abbey cast are preparing to say goodbye to the ITV series.
The 29-year-old English actress, Michelle Dockery and their co-stars discussed the show’s sixth and final season at the TCA summer press tour Saturday. Carmichael and the cast recently finished shooting at Highclere Castle, and will complete filming in the next two weeks.
“It’s strange saying goodbye to the castle,” Carmichael said of the real-life estate used as the fictional Downton Abbey. “It felt like, for a split second, it wasn’t our home anymore — and, of course, it never was our home, but it felt like it.”
“As soon as they said ‘cut on that day, you realized it was just pretend. It was very emotional,” she admitted. Dockery added, “Laura and I wandered around for the last time…we didn’t want to leave. We went and sat on [character] Matthew [Crawley’s] bench.”
Carmichael and Dockery portray sisters Edith Crawley and Mary Crawley on the period drama. Hugh Bonneville stars as patriarch Robert Crawley, with Elizabeth McGovern as Robert’s wife Cora Crawley and Maggie Smith as Robert’s mother Violet Crawley.
“There’s a lot to get done in these final nine episodes,” executive producer Gareth Neame said. “This is ultimately a happy show that people love, so I don’t think we’re going to end with lightning striking the house and the house is exploded or something. But not everyone will have a happy ending.”
Downton Abbey premiered on ITV in 2010, and airs on PBS in the U.S. The series follows the aristocrats and servants who live and work in an English manor in the 1900s, and will return Jan. 3, 2016. Neame said he and series creator Julian Fellowes will consider a movie and/or spinoff.