Siobhan Finneran Quits ‘Downton Abbey’ And Character O’Brien
Siobhan Finneran will not return to Downton Abbey as the ornery maid O’Brien for the hit U.K. show’s upcoming fourth season.
“I’m not doing any more,” Finerran told HuffPo UK, referring to Downton Abbey. "O'Brien is a thoroughly despicable human being — that was great to play."
Finerran is following in the departing footsteps of other series regulars Dan Stevens and Jessica Brown Findlay. Stevens played husband to Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and fan favorite, Matthew Crawley, while Brown Findlay had played Lady Sybil on the show. “We were always optioned for three years,” Stevens told the The Telegraph in December. “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.”
Finneran, Stevens and Brown Findlay leaving the show presents creator Julian Fellowes with both storytelling obstacles and new creative freedom. "This is a lesson in something that seems like a really big loss in the moment [that] will actually turn into a great opportunity [for Lady Mary], which it will also be for the show, to take a turn in a whole different direction," executive producer Gareth Neame told E! News.
The filming for the fourth season of Downton Abbey is currently underway in England.