The Wait for Downton Abbey Series 3 Begins: New Casting Details and Our First Look at Shirley MacLaine

Production on Downton Abbey Series 3 is officially under way and filming started last week. This process will, of course, take quite some time, but it’s at least providing us with a few drips and drabs of new information to help get us through the long wait for new episodes.

Click through for a first look at guest star Shirley MacLaine on the Downton set, as well as some casting updates about several new additions we’ll be seeing next season.

Series 3 will bring several new faces to Downton Abbey. Actor Matt Milne, most recently seen in War Horse, will be joining the cast as a new footman named Alfred. (At least Mr. Carson will apparently get his wish about new footmen, huh?) In other extremely interesting news, Digital Spy is reporting that Alfred is O’Brien’s nephew.  Hmmmmm…

In addition to a new footman, Downton will also be gaining two new maids. Cara Theobald has been cast as a new kitchen maid named Ivy – looks like Daisy may be moving up in the world! – and Lucille Sharp will play Miss Reid, lady’s maid to Cora’s mother, Mrs. Levinson.

Speaking of the other Crawley grandmother, thanks to the British papers we can now sneak a peek at the first photo of MacLaine’s Martha Levinson.  Get a load of that hat!