Laura Carmichael is a well-known name now thanks to her role as Lady Edith in Downtown Abbey, which she has reprised for the upcoming movie that’s out soon (tickets on sale now!).

But she almost didn’t make it in the industry at all, as she revealed to Town & Country.

Opening up about her struggles, she said: “I was so close to not being a working actress. I had a hard time.

Nick BriggsITV

Related: Downton star reacts to being cut from the finished movie

“It’s such a painful experience, wanting to act and not doing it, and trying to figure out how to get in there.”

And she almost fluffed her audition as well, admitting: “I went to audition, and because it was so top-secret, I didn’t get the script before I arrived.

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“I thought I’d probably have one line, but I had five scenes. I was reading them, going, ‘My God, this is a proper part! Why are they seeing me for it?’

“On my first day, I think Jim (Carter) saw I was like a rabbit in the headlights – I had to come in, speak, and serve myself some breakfast, which seemed utterly terrifying – and he said, ‘Why don’t you come over here, lovey, and I’ll help you?'”

Related: Creator Julian Fellowes is already teasing a Downton movie sequel

Things worked out for her in the end though, as she’s not only enjoyed a successful acting career, but she also met her partner Michael C Fox on the show, where he played Andrew Parker.

“When you are able to work, and love it, it is such a joy,” she added. “And I’ve fallen in love and made wonderful friends – how lucky am I?”

Downton Abbey will be released on September 13 in the UK and on September 20 in the US.

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