Maggie Smith made Downton Abbey fans’ day on Thursday when she made a rare appearance at the series six launch in central London. The 80-year-old, who was joined by fellow cast members including Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery and Phyllis Logan, spoke to gathered journalists after a screening of the season’s first episode.
“I’m just surprised that I got to the end!” she joked, of filming the period drama’s final run. “Just before this I had done about 10 years of Harry Potter so I felt very, very old indeed by the time I got to the Dowager. So I’m honestly just surprised that I got through it and I’m still here.”
“I’m going to be lying down. For quite some time,” Dame Maggie said of her post-Downton plans, adding that she’ll also be investing in a box set of the series: “The other thing I’m going to be doing is watching it. I will get the box set and have a good look.”
“I certainly haven’t watched anything that I’ve done. I’ve seen some of it but I want to sit down and look at it.”
The first episode of season six sees Maggie Smith’s character Violet Crawley at her very best, with plenty of quotable one-liners. And fans will surely be sad to see her go when the final ever episode airs on Christmas Day. But there is hope of more from the Dowager Countess.
“Yes, it would be fun,” said Smith of reprising her role in a possible Downton Abbey film…
Downton Abbey returns to ITV next month