Downton Abbey actress Elizabeth McGovern: Losing my sex appeal was 'liberating'

“You can operate on a different level, without having to contend with that dynamic all the time,” the actress, who plays Cora Crawley, said

For many actresses, ageing in the glare of the media spotlight can seem a daunting prospect.

Not so for Elizabeth McGovern, who has claimed that, rather than be the career-crippling issue of self-esteem growing older may seem, she found the process of de-objectification a “liberating” experience.

“Losing your sex appeal is no bad thing,” the actress, who plays Cora Crawley in the ITV period drama, told The Sun.

“People look at me in a way that is not as immediately sexual as they did when I was young. I find that liberating.

“You can operate on a different level, without having to contend with that dynamic all the time.”

So much so, that she often forgets she’s even reached her 50s.

''I don't see myself as middle-aged, and whenever anyone refers to me as such, I find it shocking, but not offensive,” she continued.

“I feel exactly the same as when I was 18, except with more confidence and more of a secure grounding under my feet. I feel better.''

Her comments came ahead of the Series 5 finale of Downton Abbey, broadcast on ITV last night.

A sixth series of the program was announced on Thursday, despite speculation that it could be set to come to an end in the near future.

Production will begin early next year, shortly after the 2014 Christmas special airs on Christmas Day.

“We have had an amazing reaction to the storylines, acting and production values of Downton Abbey this year and the whole team is thrilled to be moving ahead with a new season of the show,” said Gareth Neame, executive producer.

“This will provide audiences with a fresh opportunity to see what will befall our much loved characters.”

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