Michelle Dockery loved taking a break from playing well-spoken characters and reverting back to her native Essex accent for her role in The Gentlemen.

The British actress rose to fame playing the upper-class Lady Mary Crawley in TV show Downton Abbey between 2010 and 2015 and then showed off her ability to do an American accent with shows like Good Behavior and Godless.

For Guy Ritchie's latest crime caper, Dockery plays Rosalind, the wife of Matthew McConaughey's Mickey, and she relished being able to use her regular voice.

"It came quite naturally. I grew up in Essex. There's a way of talking I grew up around," she told Tatler magazine. "And finally, being able to play a character whose accent has an Essex sound, as mine does - I loved that... I've been playing well-spoken for so long, to do something closer to my roots was so much fun."

Elsewhere in the interview, Dockery confessed she struggled getting used to the fame that came with starring in the hit period drama, but it's "something she now accepts" and she is grateful to Downton Abbey for putting her in a position in which she can slow down if she wants to.

"I was in one of the biggest shows in the world. It's very rare something like that happens. I certainly wasn't expecting it," the 38-year-old, who appeared in the show's movie instalment earlier this year, said. "But it's put me in a position now where I can slow down. This business, it never really stops. You do something, you promote it, you're on to the next job. I'm learning I need to find ways to switch off. Unwind."

The Gentlemen, also starring Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, and Henry Golding, hits cinemas from 1 January.