As years go by and characters come and go at Downton Abbey, Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley) stays with us. While the Earl of Grantham's eldest daughter seemed petulant at first, fans soon learned that Michelle is actually quite warm and loving beneath her slightly chilly airs. It's her birthday today, December 15, so we're taking a second to celebrate!
Despite four seasons on a wildly popular TV show, the recently 32-year-old actress is still coming to terms with her fame and fortune. Read on for six things you may not have known about Downton Abbey actress Michelle Dockery!
She Moved Around a Lot as a Young, Struggling Actress. "I worked out [that] I moved 16 times from the age of 19, just hopping about from different flats, because I couldn't always afford to stay," Michelle told InStyle. Her Downton gig has provided her some stability, which she says is "lovely."
"It's a very solid and successful job; it just gives you that sense of security, I guess," she said. "I mean, I own a flat now." Good for her!
She's a Huge Friends Fan. "It is impossible to watch a Friends episode too many times," Michelle admitted to The Guardian. She even knows how to play "Smelly Cat" on the guitar!
She Loves Karaoke. "It starts with something like [Amy Winehouse's] ‘Back to Black,’" said Michelle, admitting that after a drink or two "it'll be Total Eclipse of the Heart, and by the end of the night I'll be desperately trying to do Whitney Houston, which never goes down very well for anyone!"
Aw, Michelle! We're sure people don't mind that much, because…
She's a Jazz Singer. Michelle and her on-screen mama Elizabeth McGovern even perform together with Elizabeth's band, Sadie and the Hotheads.
She Volunteered at a Refugee Camp. Smart, talented, and charitable! Michelle travelled to Jordan with Oxfam to visit Syrian refugees. She wrote about her experience for Vogue UK, reporting back that "Many of these women [in the refugee camp] came from wonderful and full lives back in Syria, with beautiful homes, wonderful neighbours and family all around them. Their children in education with bright futures ahead, the same children who now run around with the clothes they fled in. Life on camp is hard, there is little to do each day, nothing changes and there is no end in sight."
She Doesn't Know How to Drive. Michelle confessed to The Guardian that she is just now learning to drive now, at age 32. "I regret not learning to drive when I was younger," she reflected. "I'm learning now and it's so hard. Not being in the passenger seat is really weird."