In the years since the beloved series ended, the actress has been shedding the pomp and circumstance and corsets of Mary’s world for that of Good Behavior. The TNT drama, which is in the middle of its second season, has seen Dockery explore a life of addiction, troubled motherhood and cons as Letty Raines. It’s an impressive turn that’s only matched by the actress’ new Netflix drama, Godless, from Scott Frank (Logan screenwriter) and Steven Soderbergh.
On the 1880s-set Western series, Dockery plays the steely Alice Fletcher, one of many widowed women in La Belle, New Mexico, whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of injured outlaw Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), who is being pursued by the crazed Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels). “Alice is representative of a lot of women’s experiences at the time,” Dockery says of Alice, an outsider among the women, who believe she’s a curse on the town. She’s been widowed twice, all before the age of 21. Her life has gone in a very different direction that she’s expected, with her gun always at its ready. “She’s toughened by everything that’s happened.” And it’s a character unlike any we’ve seen from the actress.
While the show has all the makings of a classic Western -- particularly with its themes of revenge, redemption and survival -- its focus on the female perspective offers a fresh take on a tried and trued, male-dominated genre. “Scott really wanted to focus on characters that never get their stories told. In Godless, women are chief among them,” Dockery says of Frank, who also wrote and directed the series.
Her co-star, newcomer Audrey Moore, compares it to a mix of HBO’s Deadwood and Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, the latter perhaps referring to the female characters being in a state of arrested development that’s unleashed by the arrival of outlaws. “It’s about people being stuck in lives they never planned on living,” Dockery adds, largely speaking of the women who have been left to survive among themselves.