We’ve barely mourned the “Downton” downer that struck “Masterpiece’s” third-season finale that stunned U.S. viewers with the sudden death of Lord Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens).
British actor Tom Ellis has auditioned to be the new love interest for Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) on the fourth season of “Downton Abbey,” according to U.K.’s The Mirror.
The 33-year-old actor, known from the BBC sitcom “Miranda,” is reportedly one of the top choices on the “short list” to play Mary’s new leading man.
"Tom has always been popular but he has really become hot property since his role as Gary in Miranda," a source told The Mirror. "He really showed his versatility and he's also incredibly popular with the female viewers. It was an absolute no-brainer to get him in for an audition."
“We know that Tom’s got a lot of other options at the moment but if he does get the role it will be an incredible opportunity for him,” the source added.
As for Stevens' departure, which came in the form of a fatal in a car accident for Lord Crawley, the actor says, "We were always optioned for three years, and when that came up, it was a very difficult decision. But it felt like a good time to take stock, to take a moment. From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things."
The upcoming season begins filming this spring in the U.K.