Dan Stevens was determined to depart Downton Abbey in order to cash in on opportunities that arose from his lauded portrayal of Matthew Crawley on the British drama series.

In the finale of Downton Abbey's season 3, the death of Matthew Crawley stunned fans, as it came not long after the untimely death of Sybil Crawley. Incidentally, Jessica Brown Findlay, the actress who played Sybil, had also chosen to leave the show. Series creator, Julian Fellowes, was equally bothered by the fate of Steven's character. “I had no choice,” Fellowes said, according to the UK Express. “Dan would not stay – he was determined to go. Everyone liked him and thought he was fantastic.

“I tried to persuade him to come back just for one episode of the next series so we could give Matthew and Mary a happy ending but he wanted to go off to America," he continued. "And now I believe he has a three-movie deal. He’s doing very well!”

Stevens recently starred onstage alongside Jessica Chastain on Broadway in The Heiress. Upcoming films of his include, Summer in February with Dominic Cooper and Emily Browning, A Walk Among the Tombstones with Liam Neeson and The Fifth Estate about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

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