Downton Abbey 2: Is Matthew Goode in A New Era?

Downton Abbey: A New Era reunites the franchise’s huge ensemble cast, and makes way for some new additions, too, as it sees the Crawleys and co travel to the French Riviera and delve into Lady Violet’s mysterious past. 

After so many years, it’s quite something that all of these actors keep returning to play all these characters, though there has been one notable absence when it comes to the sequel’s promotional material: Matthew Goode, who plays Henry Talbot. The character, who is married to Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary, only had a small cameo in the first film back in 2019 – rushing home from the motor show in Chicago he’d been attending to accompany his wife to a lavish ball. 

Despite his short screen time, he was present in both the posters and the trailers. So as soon as fans picked up on the fact that that wasn’t the case this time around, they started to wonder whether he was in it at all. Well, he’s not, it turns out.

**Warning: spoilers for Downton Abbey: A New Era**

Downton Abbey: A New Era

(Image credit: Focus Features)

Henry is mentioned a few times in Downton Abbey: A New Era, having been pointed out early on that he was at some rally in Instanbul when the family heard from him last. Most notably, perhaps, is when Mary’s sister Edith (Laura Carmichael) asks after him, and quizzes her sibling on how she feels about her frequently long-distance marriage. Mary explains that racing enthusiast Henry is in love with “cars, speed and adventure” – and her too, or at least she likes to think. Edith then suggests that Mary might have hoped that his affections for her may have cancelled the other two out, but alas, that has not proven to be the case.

As the rest of the Crawley clan set off to France to visit the villa Violet (Maggie Smith), the Dowager Countess of Grantham, has been left by a wealthy marquis, Mary stays home to keep an eye on the film production crew that’s hired out Downton to make a silent flick. During said time, she catches the eye of its director, Jack Barber (Hugh Dancy).

During one conversation between the pair, Mary tells Jack that he reminds her of her late first husband Matthew (Dan Stevens), which prompts him to probe her about Henry.

“There’s trouble in paradise?” Jack wonders, as she replies with a smile, “You don’t need me to tell you that marriage is a novel full of plot twists along the way.”

Towards the end of the movie, Jack asks Mary whether he can kiss her, but she turns down his offer and the twosome appear to part ways as friends.

During a recent interview with Extra TV (opens in new tab), Goode admitted that he was simply too busy filming The Offer, a ten-episode series about the making of The Godfather, to appear in Downton Abbey: A New Era. If his schedule is clearer, there’s always a chance that Henry could make a comeback if a third installment is made.

Downton Abbey: A New Era is in UK cinemas now. It will be released in the US on May 20. If you want to see what other titles are due to come out in 2022, then check out our list of upcoming movies, and get planning those future cinema trips.

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