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Dan Stevens explains 'Downton Abbey' exit

December 27, 2012|By Scott Collins
  • Matthew Crawley, played by Dan Stevens during filming of season 3.
Matthew Crawley, played by Dan Stevens during filming of season 3. (Matthew Lloyd / Los Angeles…)

Change is coming to "Downton Abbey" -- British actor Dan Stevens is leaving the hit PBS drama.

"From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things," the 30-year-old actor, who plays the handsome hero Matthew Crawley, told The Telegraph. "It is a very monopolising job."

Warning for fans: The Telegraph story contains a gigantic spoiler for American viewers, because this week "Downton Abbey" aired a Christmas special that wrapped up season 3 on Britain's ITV. However, the third season won't start airing on PBS until next month.

So, if you don't want to know exactly how Crawley is written out of the show, don't click on that story.

But Stevens said the decision to exit "Downton" was made even before production began on season 3 this year. "It felt like a good time to take stock," he said.

“Oh, it is quite possible that none of us in 'Downton' will ever again get the ratings this has had,” Stevens said. “But from a career point of view, it has opened so many doors."

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