It's a new year, and you know what that means. A new season of Downton Abbey is just around the corner, of course.
Season 5 of Downton Abbey premieres Sunday, Jan. 4 on PBS, so get ready to be transported back into the fabulous world of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants who keep the titular estate in shipshape. I'm sure we'll be treated to the usual delicious dose of drama, betrayal and scandal in the upcoming season.
However, there will be at least one new addition to Downton Abbey this season that we already know about. Legendary British actor Richard E. Grant will have a recurring guest role in Season 5 as art historian Simon Bricker. He's been in a ton of stuff, but you might know him from Withnail & I, as Clifford in Spice World or most recently as Jessa's rehab buddy Jasper in Season 3 of Girls.
Grant is, of course, not the first guest star on Downton Abbey. Shirley MacLaine and Paul Giamatti have guest starred in the past as Lady Cora's mother and brother, respectively. Hopefully, Grant won't be the last noteworthy Downton Abbey guest star either, because there's obviously a lot of talent out there, especially among British actors and actresses. In case the creators of Downton Abbey need any help for casting Season 6, here are seven actors and actresses that would be perfect guest stars for the show.
1. Judi Dench
I mean, it's Judi Dench, one of the most revered acting talents of our time. Plus, she already knows how to spar with Maggie Smith from co-starring in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its upcoming sequel. I really don't need to say anything more than that.
2. Benedict Cumberbatch
A guest spot by Benedict Cumberbatch would make all the fanboys and girls happy, not to mention he is a talented actor with a knack for period dramas.
3. Emma Watson
Emma Watson has a ton of projects coming up in 2015, so maybe this year will finally be her time to truly achieve "It Girl" status in her post-Harry Potter career. A guest spot on Downton Abbey could certainly help her do that. I could really see her as a flapper hitting up jazz clubs with Rose.
4. Alan Rickman
There was so much amazing acting talent in the Harry Potter films, I just had to include another alum. Who better to fit into the often dark and brooding tone of Downton Abbey than Alan Rickman? All I want is for him to play a character that schemes with Thomas. That's all.
5. Julie Andrews
Speaking of the often bleak tone of Downton Abbey, it could use some levity every once in a while, don't you think? When you need a pick-me-up, Julie Andrews is your gal. Whenever I hear her name, I instantly smile. Maybe she could be the new nanny for little Sybil and George, you know, one that sings, uses an umbrella for transportation and makes the medicine go down with a spoonful of sugar?
6. Eddie Redmayne
Pretty Eddie Redmayne could be an adversary of pretty Jimmy the footman as a new servant downstairs. They would obviously fight over who is more handsome. Daisy would go crazy over both of them and not be able to decide which one to have a crush on.
7. George Clooney
George Clooney starred as George Oceans Gravity, the Marquis of Hollywood, for a special Downton Abbey short as part of ITV's Text Santa charity fundraiser. He was so dashing in that role, as he always is, it just makes me want to see him star on Downton Abbey for real. Why not have him play the beau of poor Lady Edith? Girl could use something good in her life.