6 January 2013 11:47 AM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

"Downton Abbey" returns for its third season Sunday evening (Jan. 6) and it brings with it a wonderful new character in the form of Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson, Lady Cora's American mother. Star Hugh Bonneville dishes to Zap2it about how his character gets on with his mother-in-law.

"Any married man who hears the words your mother-in-law is coming to stay, that does strike an arrow of dread into the heart," laughs Bonneville. "In character terms, she's the mother of her daughter. Cora, relative to a character like Robert, is a complete free spirit. Martha Levinson is very much the mother of her daughter. She has forward-thinking values, relative to the Downton stock."

Those forward-thinking ways definitely cause a stir within the household.

Related: "Downton" Season 3 character wish list

"She's like a little hurricane," says Bonneville. "But ultimately, one of my favorite scenes of the series is one I do »

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