The Radio Times logo

Imelda Staunton tries to take on Maggie Smith in new Downton Abbey clip

It’s McGonagall vs Umbridge, round two

Downton row (YouTube screenshot)
Published: Friday, 30th August 2019 at 12:05 pm

Maggie Smith is back at her frosty best as Dowager Countess Violet Crawley in the Downton Abbey movie.


A new clip sees the veteran actor, who became a favourite in the original ITV series thanks to her withering putdowns, come face-to-face with an old rival.

Faced with Lady Maud Bagshaw, played by Downton newcomer Imelda Staunton, the Dowager rather ominously pops into her room to “confirm their little chat for later.”

Not fazed by her old foe’s icy tones, Bagshaw loftily replies: “I live my own life now, Violet. I see no reason what to do what I want.

“We’ll have it out once and for all.”

This is not the first time Staunton and Smith have faced off against each other, with the pair going head-to-head in the Harry Potter franchise.

Smith’s Professor Minerva McGonagall had a bitter row with Staunton’s Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and Ministry of Magic spy Dolores Umbridge – with McGonagall branding her methods of punishment “medieval”.

The scene is the latest teaser for the long-awaited Downton Abbey movie, which will hit screens in the UK on 13th September.

Starring Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary and Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Downton among others, the film sees the stately home prepare for a visit from King George V and Queen Mary.

With fans repeatedly calling for a film adaptation of the Emmy Award winning series after it ended in 2015, showrunner and writer Julian Fellowes admitted he was “daunted” by the prospect of bringing Downton to the big screen.

“They are a different thing; a television series and a movie. You can take stories across different episodes and do all sorts of things,” he said during a Twitter Q&A.

“Whereas in a movie, every story has to be resolved and every character has to have a story. That was a quite a mathematical challenge to get it all fitted in and working for a film.”

He added it was a "peculiar" feeling to have much of the original cast return.

“They’ve all been doing different things, so it’s certainly nice to have everyone back sitting around the dining table again. It was nice coming home."


The Downton Abbey film is slated for cinema release on 13th September


Sponsored content