A 60 Minutes sit down with the Dowager Countess


Thankfully, Downton Abbey isn’t a Nielsen household. Dame Maggie Smith reveals on Sundays CBS’ 60 Minutes program that she has never seen any of the runaway ITV/PBS hit, Downton Abbey. The 78-year-old actress, who plays the Dowager Countess, says that she’s avoided watching the show thus far because she wouldn’t be able to avoid scrutinizing her performance and thinking about things she would like to have done differently.

Prior to Sundays series 3 finale, 60 Minutes host Steve Kroft asked whether she was proud of the program. Dame Maggie hesitated slightly before replying: “I was just pausing because I’ve never actually seen it. I don’t sit down and watch it. No, I haven’t watched it. I always see things that I would like to do differently, and think ‘why in the name of God did I do that?’.” Personally, her having won numerous awards for her Dowager Countess brilliance in the series, including a Golden Globe, a Primetime Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild Award makes me think there wouldn’t be anything that she needs to do differently at this point.

Smith then added that she’s a perfectionist and attributes this to her age. “You’re trying to say that I am what everybody says … I’m scary and I understand that totally.” ‘Old people are scary and I have to face it, I am old and I am scary and I am very sorry about it but I don’t know what you do.

For my money, just keep on being who you are and knowing that everyone is expecting the same Dowager Countessness for series 4 later this year.