Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Downton Abbey adds a rhino in series four: Paul Giamatti

Considering the events of last season's Downton Abbey, some might wonder if being on the show puts you into the category of endangered species. With that, the series added a member of an endangered species to the show on Tuesday: a rhino.

The show announced it has added Academy Award-nominated actor ("Cinderella Man") to the mix. Giamatti is currently filming "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" where, you guessed it, he plays the supervillain Rhino.

Starting with the Christmas episode, Giamatti will star along Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Grantham) as her "maverick playboy" brother. Other additions to series four of the show include Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as a "singing house guest" and EastEnders actor Nigel Harman as a visiting valet named Green.

Gareth Neame, from production company Carnival Films said:
We're excited that Paul Giamatti will be joining us on Downton to play Cora's brother Harold, the rather free-spirited uncle to Mary and Edith. We can't wait to see him work alongside Shirley MacLaine, who are both sure to upset the Granthams' apple cart in this year's Christmas Day episode.
It's an interesting move -- American viewers are familiar with British and Australian actors and actresses working on U.S. series, disguising their accents well, but going the other way is not so common.

U.S. actors coming to the period drama just emphasize how popular the show has become in the United States. As an example, 12.3 million Americans tuned in to the series three finale which was broadcast on Feb. 17, which made it the highest-rated show of the day. At the same time, the episode broke the viewership record for broadcaster PBS.

The show has won nine Emmys.

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