Lily James explains why Lady Rose won’t be in the ‘Downton Abbey’ movie

Downton Abbey star Lily James has explained why she won’t be returning as Lady Rose in the upcoming movie.

Written by Downton creator Julian Fellowes, the film is set to finally begin production very soon.

Most of the main cast are expected to return, but actress Lily James, who played Lady Rose MacClare in ITV’s period drama, confirmed last month that she won’t be appearing – not even for a cameo.

The 29-year-old British star told People magazine: “My character Rose moved off to New York, so it would be far fetched to bring her back. I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie, it can’t be like a Christmas special and it needs to be a focused story-line. There was simply no space for Rose.”

She did, however, reveal that co-stars Laura Carmichael and Michelle Dockery, who played Lady Edith and Lady Mary, will both be in the movie: ”I spoke to Laura not long ago and was texting Michelle about Love Island and it’s going to be really exciting. And the whole gang is coming back.”

Since leaving Downton, Lily James has appeared in a string of hit movies, including The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyCinderella and Baby Driver. She can currently be seen in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, in cinemas now.

Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection is available to buy now.

The Downton Abbey movie is expected to be released in cinemas in early 2019, but an official date has yet been confirmed.