USA TODAY: ‘Downton Shabby’: How a Hollywood guy is saving his British ancestral home’

Source: USA Today

MIDDLETON, England – It’s a rousing tale about a lavish, sprawling English estate on the verge of disappearing forever. There are scandals and setbacks and heartbreak. A distinguished cast provides glamour, passion, wit. And Hopwood DePree stars as the stoic, unflappable Lord Crawley; well, no, he stars as himself.

Americans fell in love with British TV period dramas such as “Downton Abbey,” the fictional series (2010-2015) and an upcoming September movie that follows the lives of the Crawley family and their servants in an Edwardian mansion in Yorkshire, England.

Michigan-born actor, screenwriter and producer DePree, who has a Hollywood resume, deep tan and the kind of blond highlights rarely seen in these rural parts, is one of them. DePree has spent a lot of time at his own version of Highclere Castle of late.

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