Downton Abbey has brought in Paul Giamatti to play Lady Cora’s brother Harold in the popular television series. The American actor is most commonly known for his roles in several films including American Splendor and Cinderella Man.
Giamatti is set to appear in the show’s Season 4 finale next to Shirley MacLaine, who plays Martha Levinson. The episode will air in the UK on December 25, but it won’t hit the United States until 2014 on PBS’ Masterpiece.
Season 4 will originally begin airing on Masterpiece on January 5, 2014.
“We’re excited that Paul Giamatti will be joining us on ‘Downton’ to play the rather free-spirited uncle to Mary and Edith,” Gareth Naeme, Carnival Films’ Managing Director, said in a statement.
Giamatti’s role as Harold Levinson is expected to be a “maverick” and a “playboy,” according to Access Hollywood. The 46-year-old should be a great addition to the show that has already brought in fans from all over the world.
Downton Abbey first aired in 2010 on the British network ITV before making its way to the states through PBS in 2011. The show has also been recognized and honored since its original release with multiple awards that include a Golden Globe Award in 2011 for Best Miniseries or Television film and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries.
Paul Giamatti will join a bevy of stars on the hit series, but Gareth Naeme is especially excited to see him next to Shirley MacLaine.
“We can’t wait to see him work alongside Shirley MacLaine, who are both sure to upset the Grantham’s apple cart in this year’s Christmas Day episode,” he added in his statement.
In 2012, the show brought in 11.9 million viewers in Britain, making it the most watched drama of the year. It’s success doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon and the addition of Paul Giamatti can only add more hype to the show.
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[Image via Karon Liu]