Dan Stevens Confirms Departure from Downton Abbey

by at . Comments

With rumors swirling concerning his status on Downton Abbey Season 4, Dan Stevens has come out and confirmed: he is leaving the ITV smash.

Dan Stevens as Matthew

“We were always optioned for three years,” Stevens tells The Telegraph. “And when that came up it was a very difficult decision. But it felt like a good time to take stock, to take a moment. From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things.”

Stevens has portrayed Matthew Crawley on the British drama since its premiere, and with Downton Abbey Season 3 scheduled to air in the U.S. on January 6, we can report that the actor WILL play a role on the 2013 Christmas special.

How will he be written out? Downton Abbey viewers at least have plenty of time to worry about that. (NOTE: If you have seen the Christmas special or read about what happens, be a good citizen and do not spoil it for others.)

Concludes Stevens:

"It is a very monopolising job. So there is a strange sense of liberation at the same time as great sadness because I am very, very fond of the show and always will be.”

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Can't he renew his contract I think this is a let Down,Dan man come on.......

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can Mary inherite now?

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Still reeling from the Christmas Special. "Tidings of comfort and joy," my ass. My brain still hasn't registered that he's actually gone. He's one of the reasons I fell in love with Downton. If they toss Mary with some other second rate bloke, I swear to god...

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This isn't really news, although I guess it's now confirmed. There was an interview, some weeks back, though, where he did say he wanted to focus on his Broadway stint in The Heiress, which wouldn't leave him time for another season of DA. Too bad--his character was charming and engaging, and I'll miss him :(

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@joan you'll feel that way again when you see the Christmas special

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Well that news just ruined the Christmas spirit.