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

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

Dame Maggie Smith may be recognised for her roles in Downton Abbey and Harry Potter, but in a previous interview with ES Magazine in 2019, the actress surprised fans by admitting that she didn't find her two iconic characters, Violet Crawley and Professor McGonagall, "satisfying".

MORE: Downton Abbey shares official trailer for sequel – and fans can't handle their excitement

"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. 

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WATCH: The official trailer for Downton Abbey 2 is here

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.

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."

MORE: Meet Maggie Smith's family - and you may recognise her sons

MORE: 7 period dramas to watch if you love Downton Abbey

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Dame Maggie opened up about the role

The national treasure is set to reprise her role as Violet Crawley in the upcoming sequel movie for Downton Abbey, titled A New Era. However, the actress did previously admit she didn't think she'd be making an appearance in the movies at all.

Speaking previously 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."

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The actress plays the iconic role of Violet Crawley

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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