Jessica Brown Findlay flew her mum and childhood pal to America when she was filming 'A New York Winter's Tale'.

The former 'Downton Abbey' star - who was raised in Berkshire, south east England - makes her big screen debut in the forthcoming supernatural drama, alongside Hollywood hunk Colin Farrell, and she couldn't believe her luck when she found herself working on the film in the Big Apple.

The 24-year-old beauty said: ''You're in a city that's just fantastic. I brought my mum over to visit me when I was filming and one of my best friends that I've known since I was nine. We grew up in the same village and we were running around New York together saying, 'How are we here?' It was fantastic and really fun.''

Findlay didn't think she would get the role when she first auditioned for Beverly Penn, a dying girl who has tuberculosis, but was delighted when she learned she was cast.

She added: ''Then, very quickly, I went to L.A. for the screen test, which was nerve-wracking. I just decided to have fun because I thought that there wouldn't really be any chance that I'd end up getting the role. But then I did.

''It was quite simple, but it was wonderful. I suppose sometimes you overthink things and maybe when you think you have no chance is when you're probably freer to do what you want to do.''