'Downton Abbey': Lady Edith's Laura Carmichael can make a martini and watch your kids

Zap2it: Did you land "Downton Abbey" soon after finishing school?Laura Carmichael: It was 2 1/2 years after. I was about six months without an agent, and I was scooching around, doing parts here and there.Zap2it: What were you working as?Laura Carmichael: I was a waitress, a barmaid and a nanny.Zap2it: What was the audition like?Laura Carmichael: I auditioned without having seen any pages for the script. It was completely cold. I was off to play Viola in the "Twelfth Night" in Dubai. And I thought (of "Downton"), "Maybe no one will see this." I am going to turn down Viola for two lines? I thought I would be a maid; I knew it was period. And I knew it was Julian (Fellowes). I thought it would be two or three lines. Oh, my goodness! It is a real part.Then they sent me the first episode. By the fifth episode, when she writes to the embassy,...



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