Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary Crawley on Downton Abbey, is currently starring in a new public service ad running in British cinemas that aims to raise awareness of discriminatory attitudes toward people with disfigurements.
Sponsored by the UK charity Changing Faces, the spot shows a man with a badly disfigured face (Leo Gormley, a real life burn victim) watching from his car as a woman (Dockery) arrives at her townhouse on a rainy night. He then heads for her door.
He is, it turns out, a friend who has shown up early for dinner.
“What did you think was going to happen?” the ad’s tagline reads.
The spot is the kick-off ad in Changing Faces’ Face Equality on Film campaign, which hopes to focus greater awareness on how movies and TV shows too often have disfigured characters portraying villains.
According to a story in Adweek detailing the making of the spot, Dockery’s involvement came about after Changing Faces founder James Partridge happened to meet Downtown creator Julian Fellowes and told him about the campaign.