In a bit of casting news that may seem at least a little surprising to fans of “Downton Abbey,” Joanne Froggatt has been cast as a serial killer. Froggatt plays lady’s maid Anna Bates on the British period drama.
Variety reports that the English actress has been cast in the Victorian-era drama “Dark Angel,” commissioned by British broadcaster ITV.
“The two-part show, which is produced by ‘Line of Duty’ makers World Productions, is based on the true story of Mary Ann Cotton, played by Froggatt,” Variety reports. “The show starts with Mary Ann portrayed as a loving wife and mother, newly returned to her native North East of England. But faced with abject poverty and an ailing husband, we see how ruthlessly determined she is to pursue her desires — and a better life.”
Among her tactics, the story notes, are adultery, bigamy, fraud and murder — all of which stand in contrast to her usual demeanor on “Downton Abbey.”
“Dark Angel” is inspired by the book “Mary Ann Cotton: Britain’s First Female Serial Killer” penned by David Wilson. The production is set to start filming in August.
Here’s a clip in which Froggatt talks about a pivotal plot development surrounding her “Downton Abbey” character: