A First Look at Shirley MacLaine’s Sassiness on ‘Downton Abbey’

ALTEver since we heard that Shirley MacLaine was going to be on the third season of international smash hit Downton Abbey playing Lady Cora’s American mother, all the fans of the show have been waiting for her to square off against Dame Maggie Smith‘s wonderfully acerbic Dowager Countess. Finally we got a peek of what that will look like. Clutch your pearls, kiddies, because you’re gonna love it.

This weekend TV Land aired the ceremony for American Film Institute’s 40th Life Achievement Award which feted MacLaine and featured Downton costar Elizabeth McGovern introducing a clip that shows the first time the audience sees Shirley and Maggie meeting. Of course their tete-a-tete is a passive aggressive clash of petty insults hidden behind the niceties of the day. And two costumes that must have set the wardrobe department back as much money as MacLaine’s most recent movie, Bernie, made at the box office. 

MacLaine said the isn’t going to be what we’re expecting, but it’s everything we were hoping for, as long as this escalates into them two of them duking it out in the duck pond like an episode of Dynasty.

Here’s the clip (and sorry about the quality): 

After getting his master's degree in poetry, Senior Writer Brian Moylan started writing about television and pop culture for Gawker, The Guardian, The Washington Blade and a few other reputable publications. Brian has an honorary PhD in “Jersey Shore” studies from the University of Chicago. He's shared his often hilarious views about the tube on VH1, MSNBC, TV Guide Channel, MTV (Canada), BBC radio, and NPR. He can usually be found at his apartment in New York yelling at the TV and dodging calls from Real Housewives. He is a Taurus and likes long walks on the beach, fried chicken, and almost every reality television program ever created (especially “The Swan”).