What Laura Carmichael From Downton Abbey Is Doing Today

For Laura Carmichael, playing Lady Edith Crawley in "Downton Abbey" was her big break. It was the first role she landed on the small screen, and Edith's character development across the series became one of its most important aspects. "I don't think we would have expected that Edith would be the one whose role would alter so much," Carmichael told The New York Times. "Inevitably, when she finds work and a purpose, you see her grow."

The same can be said for the actress herself, as she nearly quit acting before auditioning for the period drama. "I was so close to not being a working actress. I had a hard time," she told Town & Country. "It's such a painful experience, wanting to act and not doing it, and trying to figure out how to get there." Once she got the role, it changed the course of her life. "When you are able to work, and I love it, it is such a joy," the actress explained. "And I've fallen in love and made wonderful friends – how lucky am I?"

Laura Carmichael has also played major roles in two British thrillers

Her role as Edith not only propelled Laura Carmichael into stardom, but it also opened doors for roles in other films and television shows. Since working on the original series of "Downton," Carmichael had major roles on British thrillers "Marcella" and "The Secrets She Keeps," as well as the Starz drama "The Spanish Princess" (via IMDb). She's also starred in some major films, including "Madame Bovary" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", the latter of which was her first project outside of "Downton."

Of course, Carmichael was a major part of the first "Downton Abbey" film in 2019, and is currently filming its sequel (via Essex Live). The entire cast is returning for the new film, which will also see the addition of Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye, and Dominic West (via Twitter). The film also has a release date, and it's just in time for the festive season. Per Digital Spy, "Downton Abbey 2" will be in cinemas on December 22, 2021, so mark that day down on your calendars.