It’s been nearly six months since Matthew Crawley met his untimely end on the season finale of Downton Abbey, and because people don’t seem to be getting over it anytime soon (WHYYYYYYY?), actor Dan Stevens is doing a bit of better-late-than-never damage control.
“I am sorry about that!” Stevens told Radio Times magazine in excerpts posted online. “I think what emerged is that it’s an unwritten rule that you’re not supposed to die on British television on Christmas Day, and that, specifically, was not my doing. … I didn’t have any say in the manner in which he went. Ultimately, it was in the hands of Julian [Fellowes] and the producers.”
What is being left unsaid, of course, is that the only reason Fellowes and Co. had to write him off at all was because Stevens decided to leave the show — but at least his death means that fans will only have good memories of Mary and Matthew, as opposed to breaking them up to write Matthew off the show. “It was right that he didn’t run off and have an affair with somebody,” Stevens said. “I don’t think that would have been right for Matthew as a character.”
This is the first time since leaving the show that Stevens has seemed to acknowledge the general angry sentiment of fans who were shocked to learn that one of the most beloved main characters was being killed off. (Game of Thrones fans, can you possibly imagine that feeling?) But Stevens will have plenty more time in the public eye to discuss. He’ll next be seen in The Fifth Estate, a film about WikiLeaks, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch.
As for getting back in fans’ good graces: Do more things like this recent photo, and all will be forgiven.