After six incredible series, ITV’s Sunday night fave Downton Abbey is coming to a close for good but one cast member in particular is thrilled to be finally having a break. Although she will miss the period drama immensely, Dame Maggie Smith admits that she is ready for some much-needed rest and relaxation.
The 80-year-old will appear as Dowager Countess Violet Crawley for the last time .It is an emotional time for the cast and crew who are having to wave goodbye to the iconic show after six successful years,but it is perfect timing for Smith, who has joked that she is simply relieved to have made it to the end of the series.
Speaking to CelebMix and other reporters at the sixth series press launch at The Mayfair hotel in London, Smith said: “I’m just surprised I got to the end! Just before this, which was six years ago, I’d done about 10 years with Harry Potter so I felt very old indeed by the time I got to Downton. I’m honestly just surprised that I got through it.”
When asked about what she would miss about the show, she spoke about the dedication of the crew on the show.
“It really was reassuring and extraordinary to speak to these people day after day. They are the first people there and the last people to go, and you have no idea how incredibly exhausting that must be.
“I do not know how it is done, quite honestly, and there they are, all of them, and always in a very good mood, which is something that I can’t say for myself. Honestly I can get very gritty if it is a very early morning call, but they are there on night shoots, it’s just extraordinary.”
She was also asked about how much influence she had in creating the wonderfully colourful character of the Dowager Countess which she has played for the last six years.
“That’s Julian [Fellowes], because in Gosford Park, which was before this, I had a few of those put downs and I think that he bore that in mind. They are wonderful, wonderful put downs, but believe me they are all Julian’s. I have been accused of making things up myself but I absolutely have not, they are all his.
“When we get the scripts it is always a bit of a scramble to keep up, and a lot of it is out of sequence is it is rather alarming,
“It is incredibly hard to go from one scene to another out of sequence, so thank God they are written with clarity otherwise you would never be able to keep up.”
Asked of her plans Post Downton she replied:
“I am going to be lying down for quite some time. The other thing I will be doing is watching it; I’ll get the box set and have a good look.”