'Downton Abbey': Shirley MacLaine says shooting is 'going well' so far

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shirley-maclaine-getty.jpg "Downton Abbey," the British drama that has become a hit for PBS Masterpiece in the United States, has just started filming its third season. Veteran American actress Shirley MacLaine has been cast as Martha Levinson, the mother of the American-born Lady Cora, female head of Downton.

MacLaine arrived in England on Sunday (Feb. 19) to begin shooting. Brendan Coyle, who plays Mr. Bates on the show, said in a recent online chat that he "had the privilege of sitting beside @maclaineshirley at lunch yesterday...this casting is ingenious...she is much loved here,her scenes are brilliant and I can assure you she will be a dazzling addition to Downton Abbey."

And MacLaine herself tweets so far of her experience:

"Arrived UK. I have internet but this hotel has no phone service or tv. I feel I am on another planet"


"Everything is going well. We shot outside in wind and rain. Love the cast and crew."

We wonder what they were shooting outside in wind and rain? Intriguing. "Downton Abbey" returns on the air in Britain in September, in the U.S. next January.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images