Dame Maggie Smith may look back fondly on her time with A-list projects like the Harry Potter series and Downton Abbey, but that doesn’t mean they were acting highlights in her career.
In a new interview with Britain’s ES Magazine, the 84-year-old Brit, who played Professor Minerva McGonagall in Potter and the Dowager Countess Violet Crawley in Downton, revealed that those roles, while iconic, did not present her with challenges as an actor.
“I am deeply grateful for the work in Potter and indeed Downton, but it wasn’t what you’d call satisfying,” she told the magazine (per The Guardian). “I didn’t really feel I was acting in those things.”
Smith has been widely praised for her roles in the two projects, which are arguably her most high-profile performances.
Downton has earned her one Golden Globe, three Emmys, and a BAFTA nomination. Smith also appeared in this year’s Downton Abbey movie, which was a major box office success.
“Maggie demands great moments in that you write for her with the knowledge that every time you give her a one-liner or whatever, she will hit the bullseye with it,” Downton creator Julian Fellowes previously told ET. “You can’t just have her in a scene.”
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