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Downton Abbey’s Angelic Sybil Has Not So Angelic Past (watch!)

Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil and from the movie Albatross.

Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil and from the movie Albatross.

“Downton Abbey” star Jessica Brown Findlay, who played the angelic Lady Sybil, has a not so angelic past. The actress revealed that she did a topless scene in her big-screen debut in that racy 2011 British film “Albatross.” She says now that she was “naive” but has another coming up.

Findlay, 23, won viewers’ hearts as the altruistic member of the aristocratic Crawleys, who lord over Downton Abbey, a fictional Yorkshire country estate.

Lady Sybil rejected her position as a member of Britain’s idle elite and became a nurse during World War I. She later marries the chauffeur, Irish Republican radical Tom Branson. But Findlay wanted off the show, so her character died last season during childbirth.

Jessica Brown Findlay flashes in the 2011 movie Albatross.

Jessica Brown Findlay flashes in the 2011 movie Albatross.

In contrast to the prim and proper Sybil, Findlay plays an adventurous young woman who has an affair with an older man in “Albatross.” She flashes her breasts at a grocery store clerk when he asks her to prove she’s old enough to buy cigarettes.

“To be honest, Albatross was naivety and not knowing that I could say no,” she said in a new interview with Britain’s Radio Times. “I had no idea what was going to happen and thought I was going to be shot from behind.”

But the experience hasn’t soured her on movie nude scenes. She’ll appear topless again in an UK television adaptation of Kate Mosse’s best-selling novel “Labyrinth.”

“It is a very fleeting moment that we shot in one take, but I did find it very odd being naked in front of lots of people and I think it’s awful that women get so criticized about their bodies,” she told the magazine.

“I think if you’re going to do a nude scene, be honest and natural. Otherwise I’d be starving myself for ever, which I just couldn’t do,” she added.

Findlay says she decided to leave the hugely popular Downton Abbey, because she felt the role was confining. “My contract was ending and I was unsure about signing away another year. Leaving terrified me, and that’s what made me want to do it,” she said.

The actress will next appear in the film “Winter’s Tale” with Will Smith and Russell Crowe. The movie is a fantasy set in the 19th Century and present-day Manhattan. It focuses on a thief, a dying girl and a flying white horse.

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