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The actor on secondary school remorse, belly-button piercing and giving away spoilers

Born in Essex, Michelle Dockery, 38, studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2004 she made her professional stage debut at the National Theatre, in His Dark Materials. From 2010-2015 she played Lady Mary in the ITV television series Downton Abbey, receiving three Emmy nominations. Her latest film is Guy Ritchies The Gentlemen, in cinemas now. She lives in London.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Falling flat on my face during a curtain call at the National Theatre. The play was Pillars Of The Community and I tripped on my long skirts. Epic.

Aside from a property, whats the most expensive thing youve bought?
A very nice holiday.

What is your most treasured possession?
A St Christopher my mum gave me. I travel a lot and always carry it with me.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
The dodo. I like birds.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Spoilers. I am the absolute worst for giving away the endings of films. It just happens. I cant control it.

What is your favourite word?
Apricity. It means the warmth of the sun in winter and reminds me of my childhood.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Many things. I remember wanting to be a vet, a ballet dancer and a hairdresser.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Keeping Up With The Kardashians or The Real Housewives any season, any time.

What do you owe your parents?

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
A teacher at my secondary school. We used to write and sing songs about him. Sorry, Sir! You were a great teacher.

Have you ever said I love you and not meant it?
On a few occasions I act for a living!

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Audrey Hepburn, Chris Lilley, Paul Newman, Walter Matthau, Gene Wilder, Celine Dion and Maggie Smith.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Oh my God.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Carrie and Aidan not ending up together.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Several haircuts and my belly-button piercing.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Woodstock 1969.

When did you last cry, and why?
Watching Big Little Lies season 2. Shailene Woodley made me bawl.

How do you relax?
Sitting on the sofa watching TV with a cup of tea.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My friendships.

Where would you most like to be right now?
Anywhere in Italy eating pasta.

What keeps you awake at night?
Most things really. Im a night owl.

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