‘Downton Abbey’ Star Reveals Matthew Was Supposed To Paired With Sybil — Not Mary

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Oh, how things could have been different!

Downton Abbey’s Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Mary (Michelle Dockery) may be one of the most beloved couples in recent TV history, but they almost weren’t paired together.

During Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys event on Sunday, Allen Leech, who played Sybil’s husband, Tom Branson, revealed that Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes originally envisioned Matthew with a different Crawley sister. 

“Matthew Crawley was supposed to end up with Sybil,” said Leech, who also revealed that his character was only supposed to last 3 episodes before.

While Matthew/Mary and Sybil/Branson were both fan favorite couples, ultimately, neither duo actually ended up together. Sybil, who was portrayed by Jessica Brown Findlay, died after giving birth in season 3, while Matthew was killed off a few episodes later because Stevens decided to leave the series to pursue other projects.

Though it seems to have all worked out in the end — Downton wrapped up in January with Mary expecting a child with her new husband, and Branson leaning toward a romance with Edith’s editor — it’s still hard to imagine the early days of the series going down any differently.

The only thing more interesting than Leech’s comments about how Downton history could have been different? His hint about what’s in store for the future. The actor teased the possibility of a movie continuation of the epic British drama.

“The last I heard,” said Leech, “there were possible negotiations with Julian.”

Here’s hoping Downton comes to the big screen soon!

Do you think a Matthew and Sybil pairing would have worked? Let us know in the comments!

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