“We would have loved to keep him,” Fellowes tells the Daily Telegraph of London. (WARNING: Clicking the link will bring major spoilers about the end of “Downton” Season 3 — starting with the headline.) “… We have always tried to persuade him to stay. He had done fantastically well for the series and his creation of Matthew was terrific.
“But this is life. Dan felt that this was right thing for him, and the right moment to move on to different areas.”
Stevens chose not to renew his contract after three seasons of “Downton Abbey,” opting instead to pursue other career paths. “I’m pretty sure he’s got a terrific future,” Fellowes says of Stevens. “We will miss him.”
Fellowes also laughs at the notion that it was strictly his call on how to write Stevens off the show.
“I’m rather amused by the idea that these plot decisions are taken by producers and writers rather than the actors,” he says. “In truth, they are taken entirely by the actors.”