Michelle Dockery was a picture of grace and sophistication when she played Lady Mary, the eldest daughter of an aristocratic family in Downton Abbey. But the 36-year-old British actress won’t be typecast, playing a series of bada** roles in her recent follow up projects – from a con artist in Good Behavior to a gun-toting widow in the western drama series Godless.

“It’s something I never thought I would be in, a western, because I’m a Brit,” she tells talk show personality Wendy Williams. “But it’s good for us Brits to master the American accent because there’s a lot of work here.”

Godless centres on a mining town in New Mexico run by women after most of its men perished in a mining accident. “I was absolutely terrified picking up a rifle for the first time. I found myself doing (bicep) curls to build up my arm muscles because they were so heavy,” she talks about the challenges her new role brings.

“We went to what they called ‘a cowboy camp’ a week before filming so we had to learn how to shoot a rifle and ride a horse. I’ve done some horse riding in Downton Abbey but not like western riding. It’s very different.”

Godless is available on Netflix.