Michelle Dockery has said that she can walk around with more anonymity in the UK rather than in America, because Britons are “too cool” to approach her.

The Downton Abbey actress also said that she is still often surprised by the unlikely people who reveal themselves to be fans of the period drama that made her an international star.

Dockery, 38, told Net-A-Porter’s digital magazine Porter that she can walk around more freely in the UK than in the US, adding: “But that’s the thing with our culture.

“Brits are too cool to approach you, but in America people have more confidence to come over and say something.

“It still takes me very much by surprise, but it goes in waves. When the Downton film came out it peaked again.”

The actress, who recently reprised her role of Lady Mary Crawley in the big-screen version of the series, said that she was recently taken by surprise when a cab driver turned out to be a fan of the show.

“I got into a cab a little while ago, and the driver was this big, burly Guy Ritchie type,” she said.

“‘Where you going, love?’ he said. And then it went a bit quiet. And then he was like, ‘You alright?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah,’ and told him about my day.

“And he suddenly went, ‘Shame about your sister in season three.’ And I just laughed out loud. People really surprise me sometimes.”

Having found fame in the historical drama series in 2010, Dockery said she feels she “stepped into this industry at a time when things were really beginning to change, especially for women”.

She added: “It’s the golden age of television, where creators have the luxury of writing 10 hours as opposed to just two, so there’s room to explore a character in greater depth.

“It’s now becoming much more normal to start a job or to read a part and for me to have a dialogue with the creators – if there are moments where it’s felt the female character is not involved, for example – whereas I guess in the past, it would have felt like more of a fight.”

Dockery will next be seen Guy Ritchie’s new film The Gentlemen alongside Hugh Grant, Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam and Colin Farrell.

The full article is in Porter on iPhone, iPad and Android.