The Seattle Times

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Nick Briggs/Carnival Film and Television
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

‘Downton’ fashions: refined to frivolous in 1922

When the character of Martha Levinson (Cora’s American mother) was first introduced, McCall had a very different take on how she might dress. “What springs to mind immediately is some really sophisticated woman, because that’s what Cora is.” When McCall met Shirley MacLaine, the actress had a different, “really brilliant” take: “She was like, ‘I am the money.’ “ Shirley really wanted to stay with the times and be really fashionable and outrageous because (Martha’s) pleased that times are changing.” Just another example, McCall said, of “what an actor brings to the table.”