Why Dame Maggie Smith really didn't like her Downton Abbey role

The actress isn't the biggest fan of her famous roles

Emmy Griffiths

Dame Maggie Smith may be recognised for her roles in Downton Abbey and Harry Potter, but in an interview with ES Magazine last year, the actress surprised fans by admitting that she didn't find her two iconic characters, Violet Crawley and Professor McGonagall, "satisfying".

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WATCH: Take a tour inside the real Downton Abbey

"I am deeply grateful for the work in Potter and indeed Downton but it wasn’t what you’d call satisfying. I didn't really feel I was acting in those things," she said. 


Dame Maggie opened up about the role

Maggie also opened up about her career, admitting that she never went to the theatre as a youngster and didn't know how she decided she wanted to be an actress.

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She said: "Honest to God, I have no idea where the urge came from. It was such a ghastly time and we didn’t go to the theatre. I got into terrible trouble once because the neighbours took me to the cinema on a Sunday. But I had a wonderful teacher, Dorothy Bartholomew, who also taught Miriam Margolyes, and who encouraged me."


The actress plays the iconic role of Violet Crawley

The national treasure reprised her role as Violet Crawley in the Downton Abbey film, which was released last year. Although Maggie did joke that she wouldn't be making an appearance.

Speaking on The Graham Norton Show, she quipped: "No, because honestly, she was about - by the time we're through - she must've been 110. So, I couldn't go on and on and on. I couldn't. It just didn't make sense."

She added: "I was firmly convinced it would start with the funeral. I could croak it and it would just start with the body." Speaking about how Downton changed her life, she explained: "I led a perfectly normal life until Downton Abbey. I'm not kidding. I'd go to theatres, I'd go to galleries, things like that on my own. And now I can't and that's awful. The Fulham Road's dodgy!"

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