Shirley Maclaine took Downton Abbey advice from hairdresser

The movie veteran recalls women chatting about the series at the salon just days before she was offered the role of regular Elizabeth McGovern’s socialite mother – and she had no idea what the show was.

She tells WENN, “I walked into my hairdresser lady in Malibu and they were talking about this (show)… I thought, ‘I better go look,’ and I did. Soon after that, (executive producer) Rebecca (Eaton) and some other folks in my life called.

“I ran three months of it (Downton Abbey) and I was just as addicted as everybody else… but then, when it was announced I was going to do (play) Martha Levinson, I didn’t know anything about her.

“So I went to my hairdresser and all the ladies in my hairdressing place said, ‘Oh, she’s Jewish and she’s from Long Island and she has a lot of money and she’s looking for a titled, old man.’

“I thought, ‘That might be worthwhile investigating along with the great acting,’ and that’s basically why I did it – to see if my hairdresser lady is right!”