Five years after the fact, Dan Stevens finds himself still apologizing for his Christmas Day 2012 exit from Downton Abbey, the most popular British period drama known to mankind. In a recent interview with The Guardian leading up to his starring role in the current film, The Man Who Invented Christmas, Stevens was asked who he would most like to say sorry to. His answer was brief and without hesitation: “Downton Abbey fans for ruining Christmas in 2012.”
For those living without at television since 2012, Stevens’ character in Downton Abbey, Matthew Crawley, was abruptly written out of the show following the birth of his young son and heir to Downton, George, by dying in an automobile accident. Since Downton, Stevens has been seen in a number of feature films including his most recent starring role as Charles Dickens in The Man Who Invented Christmas.
Stevens stars as a pre-‘A Christmas Carol” Charles Dickens and follows a somewhat remarkable six-week window where Dickens dreamed up, wrote and published what was to become one of his most iconic works, A Christmas Carol. Using a mix of real life inspirations with Dickens’ vivid imagination to conjure up unforgettable characters and a timeless tale, The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the magical journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer), Tiny Tim and other classic characters from A Christmas Carol.
Jonathan Pryce stars as Dickens’ father, John, alongside Morfydd Clark as his long-suffering wife, Kate. Dickens’ biggest hurdle beside being tormented with coming up with the idea for A Christmas Carol is to convince a slew of skeptical editors and publishers who scoff at the idea of a book written about a “minor holiday” like Christmas.
The Man Who Invented Christmas may not erase the memory of that fateful Christmas Day in 2012, but it will introduce a bit of holiday magic into the season and is a fun trip down memory lane.
The Man Who Invented Christmas is currently in U.S. and Canadian theaters and opens in the U.K. on 1 December.