In stunning news, one of America's most acclaimed actors is heading to one of England's most beloved programs.
Paul Giamatti has signed on to appear in 'Downton Abbey,' with his debut scheduled for the fourth season's finale. PBS, who airs the program in the United States, announced the news this morning.
Giamatti will be playing a different type of character than he is used to when he appears as Cora's (played by Elizabeth McGovern) "maverick, playboy brother Harold." My mind cannot even grasp Giamatti as a maverick playboy.
"We're excited that Paul Giamatti will be joining us on Downton to play Cora's brother Harold, the rather free-spirited uncle to Mary and Edith," said Gareth Neame, Carnival Films managing director. Carnival Films is a co-producer on 'Downton Abbey.' "We can't wait to see him work alongside Shirley MacLaine, who are both sure to upset the Grantham's apple cart in this year's finale."
Giamatti, who has won an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award (all for his turn as John Adams in HBO's miniseries 'John Adams'),
He has also appeared in feature films 'The Hangover Part II,' HBO's 'Too Big to Fail,' 'American Splendor,' ' Sideways,' 'Cinderella Man' (for which he earned an Academy Award nomination) and 'Big Momma's House.'
He will be playing the villainous Rhino is next summer's 'Amazing Spider-Man 2.'
Downton's fourth season premieres Jan. 5, 2014, on PBS, and will air later this fall in United Kingdom on ITV.
What are your thoughts on this bit of casting? Does Giamatti fit?