Having grown up in a small village in Yorkshire, what drove your big dreams to become an actress?
I can't remember ever wanting to be anything other than an actress. I grew up on a small farm in Yorkshire and none of my family were in the business but since I was tiny I always wanted to act. I used to watch movies with my older brother and from the age of about 3 I wanted to be on screen doing what the characters in the movies were doing.
Congratulations on your acclaimed role as Anna in Downton Abbey and your nomination for The Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress. What was your favourite scene from this series?
I think my favourite scene to play from series 2 in Downton Abbey was probably the scene where Mr Bates gets sentenced to murder. I was able to react instinctively to the verdict without having to think about the proper behaviour of the character (a woman, in public in that time period) as the situation we were playing was so extreme.
Anna and Mr Bates seem to have found their happy ending in Downton Abbey. Are there any more dramas in store for them in the new series?
Anna and Bates have certainly found their happiness by the end of series 3 and this carries forward into series 4. However, there will be a few ups and downs for them in series 4. It is Downton Abbey after all.
To what degree do you feel your wardrobe helps you get into character, and do you have a favourite outfit from Downton Abbey?
My wardrobe certainly helps me get into character. It's obviously very different from anything I would wear and when I put the black maids dress on I definitely feel like Anna, not Joanne.
Do you have any new and exciting projects we should be looking out for?
I have a few film projects about to emerge, 'Filth' which is an adaptation of an Irvine Welsh novel, starting James McAvoy that premieres at the end of September, and I'm very excited about it. I think it's an amazing film. 'Still Life', starring Eddie Marsan, is premiering at the Venice film festival next week, so I'm very much looking forward to going to Venice with the film and 'You Want Me to Kill Him' is a British film released at the end of September.
You love the Winser London Audrey Cashmere Sweater, are there other favourites from the new Autumn Collection?
I love the Winser London Autumn collection, there's nothing that cheers up the Winter blues like beautiful clothes to keep you cosy. My other particular favourites are the Lauren Silk Shirts.