Paul Giamatti to join Downton Abbey 4 just in time for Christmas

Last year it was the announcement that Shirley MacLaine was joining the cast of Downton Abbey as Martha Levinson, Lady Cora’s outspoken mother. While her role was very limited for series 3, the interchange between her and the Dowager Countess was small-screen greatness. As has already been revealed, MacLaine will return for series 4 to continue her verbal sparring with Maggie Smith’s Violet Crawley character along with series regulars, Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery and Jim Carter.

With series 4 looming ever so near on the horizon, news of another cast addition from the ‘American side of the family’ has been confirmed. Carnival Films, ITV and PBS’ Masterpiece announced Monday that Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award winner Paul Giamatti (John Adams, Sideways, Barney’s Version, Cinderella Man, Amazing Spider-Man 2) has joined the cast of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama, Downton Abbey.

Joining other new cast members Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Nigel Harman, Joanna David and Gary Carr, Giamatti will play Cora’s maverick, playboy brother Harold who, no doubt, will wreak havoc on the Grantham household in this years’ Christmas episode. The feature-length episode will air as the series 4 finale on PBS in late February 2014.

Don’t know about you, but with an increasingly naughty Lady Rose moving into the Abbey, Mary getting a new love interest and, now, adding a free-spirited playboy uncle to Downton, series four is starting to look pretty can’t miss.

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In: Actors/Actresses,Drama