If you followed Downton Abbey while it aired in the UK this fall, you might already know that Season 4 is huge for Anna Bates (how huge? We’ve got the deets if you don’t mind spoilers). But it's been a big few years for the actress behind her, Joanne Froggatt, too.
While she plays an emotionally guarded, plainly dressed maid on Downton, in real life Joanne is talkative, sparkly, and sociable. We'd totally be her bestie, if she'd have us!
Here are five things you may not have known about Downton star Joanne Froggatt.
She's a "girly girl." Despite Anna's ultra-utilitarian appearance, Joanne herself likes fashionable bells and whistles. "I really enjoy dressing up. I’m pretty much a girly girl," Joanne told The New York Times. "I don’t get to express that side of myself as Anna, so I like to be creative when I go out, change it up."
She adds that she especially loves vintage cowboy boots and heels by Nicholas Kirkwood, Jimmy Choo, and Moschino (Sex and the City fan, perhaps?).
Her favorite Abbey room is the library. Joanne told Vanity Fair in a 2012 interview, "I love the library. It’s very dark and just so atmospheric and stunning. When we were filming at the start of the series, in February, it was very cold and wet outside. There is like a warm glow in that room because there are a lot of red lights, when they are filming, and it’s so enclosed. It was so beautiful."
Her first big role was playing a teen mom. Like many British screen actors, Joanne got started on long-running soap Coronation Street while still in her teens — playing a teen mom named Zoe Tattersall. "It was supposed to be for a few episodes and it lasted 18 months," she recalled during an interview with The Independent. "My baby died of meningitis.I was written out so it was not my decision to leave."
She was raised on a rare-breed sheep farm. "My dad had a flock of sheep, which he used to milk, and then my mum used to make cheese and yogurt out of the sheep's milk and sell it," Joanne told People in 2012. "It was kind of an unusual upbringing really."
"It's very kind of Wuthering Heights where my parents house is, moors and deserted," she continued. "It's very wild and mystic."
Before they got into sheep, according to The Independent, her parents ran a corner store.
She got married in 2012. Joanne married her husband, James Cannon, in a private ceremony outside the public eye on October 6, 2012. He's an IT director, and very tall.
Sources: Daily Mail, The Independent, New York Times, Vanity Fair, People
Know any cool facts about Joanne that we missed? Let us know in the comments!