gillian anderson getty 'Downton Abbey': Gillian Anderson turned down a role   who was it?Gillian Anderson has revealed to TV Guide magazine that she was offered a role on the British import hit “Downton Abbey” – and we were a little surprised at which one it was.

The interview was done regarding Anderson’s upcoming PBS miniseries “Great Expectations.” Anderson says of the miniseries, “Hopefully people will embrace it with the same love that flowed toward
‘Downton Abbey.’ I was actually offered a part in ‘Downton.'”

And then she confirms the part was none other than Lady Cora, the American female head of Downton, wife to Lord Grantham and mother to ladies Mary, Edith and Sybil. Interesting!

The reason we’re a little surprised is that Anderson seems just a touch too young for the role. She’s seven years younger than Elizabeth McGovern, the actress who plays Lady Cora. Andrson is also only 13 years older than Michelle Dockery, the actress who would’ve played her oldest daughter.

Not that TV shows don’t fudge on those things all the time, it’s just the first thought that popped into our head. Huh. But we’re glad to have Elizabeth McGovern as our Lady Cora. What do you think, “Downton” fans?

“Great Expectations” premieres Sunday, April 1 on PBS.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."