"Shirley was wonderful. She's so marvelous," Wilton said. "She's in the first two episodes, and we loved her."
MacLaine joins the Season 3 cast as Lady Cora's (Elizabeth McGovern) mother. Masterpiece's Rebecca Eaton, an executive producer on the series, said MacLaine's character tangles with Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess. "There are some wonderful scenes between Maggie and Shirley MacLaine -- Shirley MacLaine being as ditsy as ever," Eaton said.
According to Wilton -- or the Dowager Countess' first nemesis, Cousin Isobel, to "Downton" fans -- MacLaine fell for one particular actor on the series. "She fell in love with Carson -- Jim Carter, who plays Carson the butler. She thought he was heaven. How could you not?" Wilton said with a laugh.