Actor Playing ‘Downton Abbey’s New ‘Maverick Playboy’ Uncle in Season 4 Is Anything But

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Downton abbey lady granthamAre you a big Downton Abbey fan? Good, so am I. And ever since season 3's tragic, completely unexpected ending (well, if you live in the UK), everyone is curious to see how the series will bounce back after losing a couple of beloved characters. As the date for the season 4 premiere gets closer and closer, more spoilers about what's to come are leaking on to the Internet. The latest is a bit of casting news that may come as a surprise to some of you.

He's American, he's a veteran film actor, he's extremely versatile, and, well, to be frank, he doesn't exactly have the typical good looks that many of the men boast on Downton Abbey. But fans are expecting great things from him and hopefully he'll be a welcome addition to what's gearing up to be an exciting season 4.

It's none other than Paul Giamatti who's joining the Downton cast as Harold, the "maverick, playboy" brother of Lady Grantham.

"We're excited that Paul Giamatti will be joining us on Downton to play Cora's brother Harold, the rather free-spirited uncle to Mary and Edith," announced Gareth Neame, who's from production company Carnival Films. "We can't wait to see him work alongside Shirley MacLaine, who are both sure to upset the Grantham's apple cart in this year's Christmas Day episode."

Paul Giamatti acting alongside Shirely MacLaine? In a fancy suit and a fancy dress taking passive-aggressive jabs at each other? They have the potential to be a fantastic pairing.

Still, he's not exactly who you'd expect really, is it? Or just me? Best known for his lead role in Sideways, he's also starred in John Adams, Cinderella Man, Saving Private Ryan, and will soon be seen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Rather diverse resume, wouldn't you say? Still, nothing he's in exactly screams "maverick playboy" in a British period piece. Ah, the magic of television.

We'll see how far Paul takes the uncouth, rude, obnoxious American stereotype on the show (if that is indeed where they're going with him -- hopefully Downton reins it in), but he's got the talent and experience to really kick things up a notch in season 4. Can't wait to see him!

What do you think of Paul Giamatti joining the Downton Abbey cast?

 

Image via PBS