Is There Life After 'Downton Abbey' For Its Stars? What's New For Them?

With Downton Abbey winding down on its North American viewing, its stars have already moved on to their next gigs, but will they always be known for their various roles on the hit ITV and PBS series, for better or for worse? Will Hugh Bonneville forever be Lord Grantham, and Will Michelle Dockery be known as Lady Mary, even in an action film?

According to the Inquisitr, Hugh Bonneville did not leave the set of Downton Abbey without a memento or two. He took with him some hand-written notes from famous people that reminded him of great events in history, and how they were marked on Downton Abbey. Bonneville, who plays Lord Grantham, took an invitation from Henry Talbot, inviting the family to a car race. Bonneville said that these notes helped him get into character, and he never wanted to forget them.

RadioTimes is reporting that Hugh Bonneville is going even further back in time to the days of Shakespeare for The Hollow Crown. And Hugh Bonneville won't be on his own, but starring with Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC series which is to be set to music by Jay-Z
Variety says that Michelle Dockery's next projects are Good Behavior and Animal Kingdom, which could not be further away from Lady Mary Crawley.

"Good Behavior, starring Michelle Dockery and Juan Diego Botto, hails from exec producer and showrunner Chad Hodge (Wayward Pines). The Downton Abbey star plays the title character in the show based on Blake Crouch's Letty Dobesh novels."

Dockery's character is fresh out of prison. Animal Kingdom revolves around the family of a heroin addict, and is based on an Australian film. Variety thinks that fans will love seeing Dockery is something modern.

"We believe audiences will love watching Michelle Dockery trade in her manners for the life of a sexy, complex ex-con in 'Good Behavior' and Ellen Barkin and Scott Speedman command an unruly family of criminals and adrenaline junkies in 'Animal Kingdom.'"

ABC News is reporting that Lady Grantham, aka Elizabeth McGovern, will be moving from Downton Abbey onto the stage for National Theatre with Andrew Garfield. But McGovern isn't moving far, as she will be on stage in England.

"McGovern will appear in Alexi Kaye Campbell's play Sunset At The Villa Thalia which opens at the London theater in June. Garfield will take the central role of Prior Walter in a revival of Tony Kushner's epic AIDS-crisis drama Angels in America, opening in May, 2017.

But what about the below-stairs cast? The Hollywood Reporter says that the biggest change might be for Anna Bates, aka Joanne Frogatt, who will now be playing a serial killer.

"I thought, 'Oh, I better put my money where my mouth is,'" the Golden Globe-winner told reporters Tuesday about playing real-life serial killer Mary Ann Cotton.

Frogatt joked that she wanted a big change after Downton Abbey, and it looks like she got one.

"People kept saying to me, 'What did I want to do after Downton? I jokingly kept saying, 'Oh, I don't know. Something completely different. Play a murderer or something," the actress told reporters Tuesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. "Then this script came along and I thought, 'Oh, I better put my money where my mouth is.'"

It looks like the cast of Downton Abbey is having no problems getting hired elsewhere.

Will you be looking for your favorite stars from Downton Abbey in other projects?

[Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images]