Michelle Dockery has admitted the reaction to the 'Downton Abbey' movie ''exceeded expectations''.

The 38-year-old actress reprised her role as Lady Mary for the period drama's spin-off movie last year, and though she and the cast were ''thrilled'' to get back to the saga, they were unsure how welcomed it would be by fans.

She told OK! magazine: ''We were thrilled and, like with any show you're a part of, you just never know what the appetite will be out there.

''Of course, people were wanting it to happen and willing it to happen, so we did it.

''But you never know how it's going to turn out.

''However, it exceeded our expectations.

''It was thrilling to see it happen.

''And a sequel? We'll see.''

While Michelle seems doubtful about the idea of a sequel, producer Gareth Neame recently confirmed there is a script in the works which he and the rest of the team are ''totally committed'' to bringing to the big screen if they can.

He said: ''We are totally committed to making a sequel if we can bring all the elements back.

''During the course of this year, we will have a script and we will try to assemble all the actors again, you know, as soon as we can.''

Gareth previously suggested that making the proposed sequel would be a ''smoother'' now it has been proven that 'Downton Abbey' could move from the small screen to the big screen.

He said: ''It'll be smoother in one sense - that it's now hopefully a proven concept. It's not one of these shows that came from TV and then flopped in the cinema. So I think that will give everyone comfort that, yes, we know it works.

''But the challenge will be, is everyone available at the same time? Can we make deals with them? That will be the challenge.''