Elizabeth McGovern recruited Downton Abbey creator and director for new Louise Brooks film

The actress fell in love with Laura Moriarty's book and knew just the men to help her bring it to the big screen.

Elizabeth McGovern has teamed up with her Downton Abbey director and creator to bring one of her favourite books to life on the big screen.

The actress, who played the American Countess of Grantham in the popular TV series - and will reprise the role for a much-anticipated movie later this year (19), took the idea for The Chaperone to Julian Fellowes and he jumped at the chance to adapt it.

McGovern then recruited Downton's Michael Engler to direct the film version of Laura Moriarty's book, which imagines 1920s movie star Louise Brooks' arrival in New York City, before she became a pin-up.

"It's the same period (as Downton Abbey) but it's a script that Julian adapted from a book that I brought to him and we both love it," McGovern explains. "It's about Louise Brooks, who is a famous, iconic movie star, who, as a young girl, travelled from Kansas to New York - and she's accompanied by a middle-aged housewife.

"It's the story of their journey before she became a big movie star."

McGovern's title character has a secret agenda for volunteering to chaperone the teenage dancer in the Big Apple, as she sets off to discover the truth about her parents, who put her up for adoption as an infant.

The movie, which also features Geza Rohrig, Blythe Danner, Campbell Scott, and Haley Lu Richardson as Brooks, opens in New York on limited release at the end of this month (Mar19). It opens in Los Angeles in April.

Meanwhile, the Downton Abbey movie will hit the big screen in September.

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