Downton Abbey’s Maggie Smith to star in Parisian dramatic comedy My Old Lady

The British actress will play a 94-year-old living in the French capital alongside Jane Birkin and Kevin Kline in the film adaptation of Israel Horovitz's stage play

Dame Maggie Smith may be 78 but she’s showing no signs of slowing down. In addition to playing the Dowager Countess in season four of Downton Abbey, she’s just signed up to star in the film adaptation of Israel Horovitz’s play My Old Lady

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First dramatised in American theatres during the start of the 21st century, the play follows story of penniless New Yorker Mathias Gold who inherits a Parisian apartment from his father. The dramatic comedy charts his visit to the French capital with the intention of selling the property, but upon arrival he discovers the flat is occupied by his father’s 94-year-old former lover Mathilde and her daughter Chloé. 

Jane Birkin will star alongside Dame Maggie as Chloé, with Kevin Kline and Dominique Pinon also attached to the project. Horovitz – who has written over 70 plays including The Indian Wants the Bronx starring Al Pacino – has spoken of his delight that his work is to be adapted for the cinema.

“Of all my stage plays, My Old Lady is my very favourite. For years, this play has cried out to me to be seen in its Paris setting, to become a film,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “To create this film with Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, Jane Birkina and Dominique Pinon is beyond thrilling.”

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The film will see Moneyball producer Rachel Horovitz team up with Midnight in Paris’s Raphael Benoliel, Nista Benechetrit (The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond) and David Barrot (Eyes Wide Open) with filming set to begin in Paris in September.