BAZ BAMIGBOYE: A Touch of Cloak and Dagger for Lady Mary as Michelle Dockery Lines Up Role in Spy Thriller

Daily Mail, 29 March 2012
By Baz Bamigboye

'Downton Abbey' star Michelle Dockery is in talks to star with Hayley Atwell and, possibly, Charlotte Rampling in a nail-biting spy thriller.

Michelle, who plays the soon-to-be- married Lady Mary Crawley in Julian Fellowes’s ITV phenomenon, is rumoured to be in line to play the daughter of Hayley and Charlotte in William Boyd’s adaptation of his award-winning novel Restless.

Hayley and Charlotte would play the same character - Eva Delectorskaya - at different ages. Eva’s a Paris-based Russian emigree who is emotionally manipulated by silken schemer Lucas Romer (who may be played by Rufus Sewell) into joining a unit of British Intelligence at the outbreak of World War II.

Eva Delectorskaya may be her real name but, during the war years — when she’ll be played by Hayley — she’ll be known by a host of aliases.

However, when Boyd’s story scoots forward to 1976, Eva has become Sally Gilmartin (the role Charlotte is likely to play), a 66-year-old, thoroughly respectable English grandmother living quietly in a remote Oxfordshire village.

Crucially, though, she hasn’t lost her espionage skills. Sally (or Eva, if you prefer), breaks her code of silence and tells her daughter Ruth (the part rumoured for Michelle) what she did in the war, and how she was caught in a web of duplicity and betrayal.

Mother comes out of the cold and joins forces with her daughter to embark on a deadly assignment.

Edward Hall, artistic director of Hampstead Theatre, has been hired by producer Hilary Bevan Jones and Endor Productions to direct the two-part film drama, which will shoot on location later in the year.

The three leading ladies already have a busy year ahead of them, with Michelle shooting series three of 'Downton' and also playing socialite Princess Myagkaya in Joe Wright’s film of 'Anna Karenina' for Working Title.

Hayley stars with Ray Winstone and Ben Drew in the movie version of 'The Sweeney', opening in September and, interestingly, she plays Charlotte’s daughter in the murder-mystery movie 'I, Anna', which was directed by Charlotte’s son, Barnaby Southcomb.

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