Laura Carmichael is looking forward to wearing jeans in future roles after dealing with the “painstaking detail” of costumes in period dramas from Downton Abbey and new Tudor series The Spanish Princess.
Carmichael, 32, plays Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, which follows the life of Catherine of Aragon (Charlotte Hope) from the women who surrounded her.
She previously played an 18th Century maid in Madame Bovary and recently reprised her role as early 20th Century aristocrat, Lady Edith Crawley, in the upcoming Downton film.
“When you’re doing something present day or costume-y they both have pros and cons,” she told A List. “Sometimes you feel you’re going a long way with the mise en scène and the costume and incredible scenery – that’s getting you halfway there sometimes it feels – but it’s very time consuming and there is painstaking detail that sometimes the joy of doing something in jeans is magic.”
The Spanish Princess was filmed on location in rural England including Wells Cathedral during last year’s heatwave and the World Cup. “I have funny behind the scenes pictures of people watching the football on their iPhones while dressed as Henry VII,” she said. “It was hilarious because they needed to make it look grey and miserable when it was the most gorgeous summer ever. That was a difficulty for us to not sweat too much. It was so hot and being around a lot of horses… we were well insulated.”
Carmichael found fame as Lady Edith in the ITV drama in 2010 before going on to star in Hollywood films including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, A United Kingdom and TV series Marcella among others.
She said her roles have allowed her to maintain a relatively private life, free from fan intrusion as people often fail to recognise her in everyday clothing.
She said: “The thing with doing these period pieces is it does feel quite disguised. I’ve got the same friends and hang out with my family a lot. [My job] hasn’t intruded on my life in a way that it has done for others. I think a lot of that is to do with being recognised for a part. Edith was disguised so people don’t expect to see you walking down the street in your jeans. I feel lucky for that.”
The Spanish Princess is on Starzplay and Amazon Prime on May 5