The actress says a dramatic change of role and scenery has helped move on smoothly from her hit British series

By Scott Huver
August 01, 2016 10:20 AM

The past year has a time of transition for Michelle Dockery.

The actress best known as Downton Abbey‘s Lady Mary has seen major changes both personally and professionally in 2016 after she endured the unexpected death of her fiancé John Dineen in December – the same month Downton concluded after six seasons.

Now Dockery, 34, is spending more time in Los Angeles as she forges ahead.

“I love spending time here. It’s been a real change for me,” she told PEOPLE during the press tour for her forthcoming TNT series Good Behavior. “It’s good to change it up.”

She added that plunging into her sexy, contemporary role as Letty Dobesh, a thief and con artist, was “very freeing.”

“I was very fortunate to go from Downton Abbey on to this quite quickly,” said Dockery. “I like to keep working.”

She continued, “I was very lucky to find something that was quite different.”

Comparing her two characters, Dockery did note the “parallels with those women – Letty is a very colorful, complex character. She’s much like Lady Mary was. I always have a place in my heart for that character, and I think that you kind of take your characters with you as you go on in your career.”

As for whether she’s ready to revisit her Downton past just yet, Dockery only issued a coy, “We’ll see …. I mean, I’m open to the idea of the film. I’m looking forward to seeing if that happens.”

Until then, she admitted she misses her tight-knit costars most: “We’re all still very, very close,” she said of the Downton crew – but “we’re all off doing different things now all over the world.”

Good Behavior is set to premiere this fall on TNT.

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