What to Read Next

From Downton Abbey To New York: Dan Stevens Confesses 'It Felt Mad To Walk Away'


Dan Stevens' shock exit from worldwide smash Downton Abbey at the end of last year was not just a surprise for audiences it seems, as the Brit actor reveals that "on paper it felt mad to walk away."

The actor's character Matthew Crawley met his demise in a car crash in the Christmas special last year, just moments after viewers saw his onscreen wife Mary give birth to their first child.

Dan's decision to leave the hugely successful drama after three series came as a shock, and the actor admits he still gets grief for his decision!

"Yes, I spend a lot of time apologising to people’s wives here," Dan reveals to the Daily Mail in an interview from his new home in New York. "Downton’s bigger here than there. There’s an Anglophile streak here which is still very strong."

Dan insists that he "made my decision for myself, but I didn’t make it alone. Everybody who knows and supports me was behind it and that made it feel the right thing to do."

From Downton Abbey To New York: Dan Stevens Confesses 'It Felt Mad To Walk Away'
From Downton Abbey To New York: Dan Stevens Confesses 'It Felt Mad To Walk Away'

Dan Stevens' decision to leave Downton Abbey shocked viewers (WENN)

"Also it excited me to follow my instinct which said this is the right time. It’s just a nice feeling to have when you can trust yourself."

The star goes on to reveal that he became disillusioned with the worldwide success of Julian Fellowe's drama, and was hungering for a new challenge:

"I had a great three years. I had a blast. I have some very fond memories. The cast were lovely. It was just time. Its success was unexpected for all of us. When we came back together for even series two we were a bit shell-shocked at the popularity, and by season three it almost seemed ridiculous how big the thing had become."

Reports at the time of his exit suggested said Stevens left creator Fellowes in the lurch when he quit, something the actor is keen to clear up as he insists: "I gave them plenty of warning – it wasn’t like I slammed the door and walked out. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to face. On paper it looked mad to walk away, but it felt like the right time."

Dan says that he was given no input into how Matthew would exit the show revealing that "there was a lot of anticipation as to how I would go over, and when we got the scripts it was like, “OK, that’s the way it’s going to happen.”

"But having him die in a car crash on Christmas Day on British TV did seem nearly sacrilegious. You aren’t supposed to be killed off on Christmas Day!"

The Brit has been keeping busy since leaving Downton, originally packing up and heading to New York for his Broadway debut opposite Jessica Chastain in The Heiress. He has remained in the city, and will next be seen in Frank Scott's A Walk Among The Tombstones opposite Liam Neeson, in which he plays a Brooklyn drug trafficker seeking revenge on serial killers who have murdered his wife.

Not Again! Eva Longoria Flashes Lady Parts In Cannes Just Months After NipSlip At Golden Globes
Kate Middleton, Duchess Of Cambridge 'To Take Doctors' Advice About Caesarean Royal Baby Birth'
Eurovision Song Contest 2013: Results Table In Full

Get In The Zone With Fitbit®

What fitness goals are you striving toward? Fitbit® can help get you there by empowering you with each step you take in finding your fit.

A Heart for Helping Others

Earn up to $4,000 a month from home! Give an individual with special needs the opportunity to live independently and live life to the fullest.

Earn Cash Back On Dining Out.

It's easy to save money in the new year when you get cash back on all purchases. Learn more about simple and flexible credit card rewards here.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

This Movie Deal Is Sure To Get Your Attention!

Get 4 Disney Movies For $1 With Membership. See Details. Exclusive Titles, Merchandise, Offers & Discounts. Plus, Free Shipping On Your Initial Order!

How to Choose the Best Student Loans

The fun of summer vacation is often dampened by thoughts of student loan debts. See which loan is the best for you.

How to Create a Social Support Strategy

Meet your customers where they are. Read this e-book from Desk.com to learn six things to consider as you plan your social support strategy.

Compare rates. Save big.

We'll compare rates so you have more time for important things… like cats.

Trouble Understanding Your Teen?

Raising teenagers can be a challenge. Learn why teens do what they do in our teen email series.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

How To Make Sagging Skin Look Tight and Lifted

[Watch] The easy and effective way consumers across the country are improving the look of their wrinkled and sagging skin without cosmetic procedures.