If Shakespeare was around today I would ask him out to dinner. The only thing I don't like about him is the way he did his hair.
I think some period drama can be quite alienating, but 'Downton' isn't. This is going to sound quite, um, pretentious, but someone said that it's like a soap written by a poet.
The last time I cried? My godchildren went to see Taylor Swift in concert and got to meet her. They literally ran toward her and hugged her, and it was amazing. I got big bonus points for it. I'll remind them when they're teenagers.
Shakespeare and his work will always be relevant. He wrote those pieces hundreds of years ago and we haven't really changed as humans, have we? We have to deal with love, honour and adultery now - people were the same then, too - that's what's so wonderful and powerful.
'Downton Abbey' has become this huge thing, and I really enjoy the success of it, but I sometimes find myself on the outside looking in, which is sort of a healthy way to look at it so you don't get too caught up in it.
I come from a very working-class background, so my family would have been downstairs in the past, as opposed to upstairs. People are often quite surprised to hear that, that I'm not actually posh.
I love discovering tiny streets.
I get so excited about reading a new script.
My mum taught me always to see the funny side of things.
Cooking can cure almost anything.
I think the first time I realised Downton Abbey was a hit was when I was sitting in a tea shop in New York and the couple next to me were talking about Downton Abbey, and then they recognised me.
In the early '20s, with the war over, there was a period of celebration, and you can see it in the fashion.
I had dance training from a very young age, 3 or 4... It taught me how to present myself, about preparation and working in an ensemble, and its something that carries with me to this day.
I really enjoy singing, it's entirely different to acting because I'm just being myself.
Othello' was my first Shakespearean discovery. I was obsessed with drama at school, and I studied the play for my English GCSE. Desdemona is the part that everyone wants, but Iago's wife Emilia is the one I've always been drawn to.
Shakespeare's work is like a good song: you never really forget the main lines.
I think the success of 'Downton' is partly because there are effectively 18 leading characters, all given equal importance, so it's enormously involving on many levels. But also, it's a new story. It's not like Dickens or Austen, where everyone knows the denouement.
When I was a child, I went to stage school three times a week in the evenings - singing, ballet, tap, modern and acting, and I loved it.
I don't get recognized all the time, but it tends to happen more in America, and people are so lovely when they do.
For years, I was often afraid to speak up when I didn't fully understand a script. I'd tie myself in knots.
Being in the same scenes as Maggie Smith and Shirley MacLaine is something I will never forget.
I love cycling, but if I could find a way of building something above the streets for cyclists, that would be amazing. We need even more space.
I've had moments of thinking maybe I should go on Twitter. It's something that I've been shy about, and I've thought that maybe I should do it.
I can be so blown away by story lines.
I don't mind wearing a corset; it informs your posture, changes the way you move, you can't slouch.
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