Paul Giamatti is the latest American joining the cast of "Downton Abbey," Giamatti's spokesperson confirmed to OTRC.com on Monday, June 24.
Giamatti will play Harold Levinson, the older brother of Elizabeth McGovern's American character Cora. Giamatti's character is described as a "playboy" and a "maverick" in a statement by ITV, the UK network that airs "Downton Abbey."
The 46-year-old actor will appear on the series alongside Shirley MacLaine, who played Cora's mother Martha Levinson on the show last season. Her character traded barbs with Maggie Smith's character Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham. It was announced in March that MacLaine would be returning to the show for its fourth season.
"Downton Abbey" debuted in 2010 and follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their downstairs servants in England during the early 20th century. The last episode, the 2012 Christmas special, took place during September 1921.
Carnival Films' Managing Director, Gareth Neame, said in a statement, "We're excited that Paul Giamatti will be joining us on Downton to play the rather free-spirited uncle to Mary and Edith."
"We can't wait to see him work alongside Shirley MacLaine, who are both sure to upset the Grantham's apple cart in this year's Christmas Day episode," Neame added. Carnival Films is the production company behind the show.
Giamatti is just the newest addition to the show's fourth season. It was previously announced in early May that Gary Carr had been cast as the show's first black recurring character.
Giamatti is known for roles in films like "Sideways," "American Splendor" and "Cinderella Man." He has an upcoming role in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" as the villain The Rhino.
OTRC.com recently interviewed several stars from "Downton Abbey," as well as creator Julian Fellowes, about the new season of the show and Diddy's FunnyorDie.com parody. Season 4 of "Downton Abbey" kicks off in the United States on January 5, 2014 on PBS.