Lily James won't appear in the 'Downton Abbey' movie

The actress played Lady Rose MacClare in Seasons 3 through 6 of "Downton Abbey."

Annie Martin
Lily James said there's no space for Lady Rose MacClare in the forthcoming Downton Abbey film. File Photo by Paul Treadway/UPI
Lily James said there's "no space" for Lady Rose MacClare in the forthcoming "Downton Abbey" film. File Photo by Paul Treadway/UPI | License Photo

July 16 (UPI) -- Former Downton Abbey star Lily James won't appear in the big-screen movie.

The 29-year-old British actress explained in an interview with People that there was "no space" for her character, Lady Rose MacClare, in the forthcoming film.


"My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be farfetched to bring her back," James told the magazine.

"I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie it can't be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused storyline," she said. "There was no space for Rose."

James was disappointed but voiced excitement for her former co-stars.

"I'm sadly not [in it], but I'm so excited for it -- I'm going to be front row," the star said.

"I spoke to Laura [Carmichael] not long ago and was texting Michelle [Dockery] about Love Island and it's going to be really exiting. And the whole gang is coming back," she added.

Downton Abbey had a six-season run on ITV from 2010 to 2015. Focus Features announced Friday that production on a big-screen film will begin this summer.


"Since the series ended, fans of Downton Abbey have long been waiting for the Crawley family's next chapter," Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski said in a statement. "We're thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen."

Downton Abbey starred James, Dockery, Carmichael, Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Joanne Froggatt, Jim Carter and Brendan Coyle.

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