Elizabeth McGovern confesses she thought showbiz was a breeze.
The actress made her feature film debut in first-time director Robert Redford’s Oscar-winning 1980 film “Peculiar People,” starring Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland and Timothy Hutton.
“I didn’t have anything to check it to, so my feeling was like, ‘God, show business is simple, isn’t it?” McGovern, 60, chuckled in a recent interview with The Post. “Little did I do know! Then I needed to form of follow it for nevertheless a few years, which we won’t say. But, yes, that was a really special time.”
She added, “and when I feel back, what an incredibly unusual director to have worked with for my first job — and I do appreciate it increasingly as time goes by.”
McGovern went on to star in movies like Milos Forman’s “Ragtime,” “Racing with the Moon” opposite Sean Penn and John Hughes’ “She’s Having a Baby,” but for hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe she’s now immediately recognizable as beloved matriarch Cora Crawley in “Downton Abbey.”
Timothy Hutton and Elizabeth McGovern in 1980’s “Peculiar People.”Paramount Pictures/ Everett Collection
“I might hate for us to push it an excessive amount of and churn out something that wasn’t type of the identical level … that’s all the time my fear … Never say never.”
Elizabeth McGovern on the potential for one other ‘Downton Abbey’ sequel
She was the lone Yank within the British period drama for its television run and reprised the role within the 2019 film and the sequel, “Downton Abbey: A Recent Era,” out May 18 in theaters and streaming on Peacock 45 days later.
The Evanston-born actress confessed that, very like her character, she doesn’t quite understand the intricacies of sophistication distinction which can be depicted in “Downton Abbey.”
“It’s almost like tribal rituals or something,” she said. “And it holds absolutely no weight with me. It’s quite a freeing thing to not be caught up in all of the machinations of the hierarchy … I mean, I literally don’t get it.
“That’s the way in which I felt after I first moved to England and I still feel the identical way.”
McGovern is married to British director Simon Curtis.Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic
McGovern married director Simon Curtis, who helmed the most recent “Downton Abbey” film, in 1992, and the couple shares two daughters. Since then she has appeared on quite a few British shows and on the UK stage.
Her favorite “Abbey” character is Thomas Barrow, the closeted gay butler.
“I feel that that story is so well-written and it all the time really moves me,” she explained. “It seems like such an accurate depiction of the way in which someone like him would feel trapped and suppressed. And he is an excellent story within the film and that gave me lots of pleasure to look at.”
McGovern shot a part of “Downton Abbey: A Recent Era” within the south of France. She is shown with solid members Hugh Bonneville and Laura Carmichael.Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection
And as for whether she thinks there might be a 3rd movie?
“I do not know,” McGovern confessed. “I’m all the time the cynical one that claims, ‘That is it.’ After which a 12 months later, I’m back on the set, so I just hand over. I do not know.
“I might hate for us to push it an excessive amount of and churn out something that wasn’t type of the identical level of the stuff that I feel we’ve managed to place out. And that’s all the time my fear. But, you understand, I don’t know. Never say never.”