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Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay Confirmed For Morrissey Biopic

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As an avid fan of Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey, I must admit that I was sad to see Jessica Brown Findlay’s character, Lady Sybil’s tragic departure after dying due to complications during childbirth.

But for every talented actress, a tragic departure of a character means the entrance of a new one.

Findlay, a well-known actress in the UK, is one who will not be scarce–she’s already appeared in The Riot Club, Jamaica Inn and The Outcast and she’s set to star in the upcoming film This Beautiful Fantastic.

And Smiths/Morrissey fans will be pleased to hear that Findlay will also be appearing in the new Moz biopic Steven.

The movie will star Findlay and Jack Lowden (as Morrissey) and will begin in the 1970’s, focusing on Moz’s early life and his gawky and uncomfortable teenage years, prior to the formation of the legendary Manchester band. Curiously, the film will not venture into the 1980’s when Morrissey becomes the lead singer of The Smiths and will instead act as an origin story which will help explain his eventual rise to fame.

The film plans to reveal how Morrissey turned his life around and literally went from nothing into something–from a life filled with challenges to a celebrated star.

Findlay will play the role of Linder Sterling. Morrissey and Sterling became close friends early on and their kinship is a central point of the film.

Born Linda Mulvey in 1945 in Lancashire, Liverpool, Sterling is a well-known and accomplished musician, visual and performance artist. She is a radical feminist and was a prominent figure in the post-punk scene. Sterling is best known for her montages that combine images from women’s fashion magazines and pornographic magazines in order to make a point about the commodification of the female body and cultural expectations for women.

While it might be difficult for anyone to imagine Findlay as anyone besides the feisty Lady Sybil, she’s a versatile actress who can take on many roles. In fact, both Sterling and Sybil share a common connection of radical feminism in their respective time periods, and Findlay has proven herself to successfully portray strong female leads.

It’s time for me to say goodbye to Lady Sybil and hello to Linder Sterling.