Maggie Smith loves to talk about how proud she is about the success of Downton Abbey and how the period drama is shot. Just don’t ask her about the final product.
In an interview with 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft, Smith reveals that she has never watched herself in the role that has yielded her two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe. She claims, “I haven’t actually seen it. So I don’t, I don’t sit down and watch it.” When Kroft asked her if that meant she’s never seen it, she confirms, “No, I haven’t watched it.”
It’s not because Smith doesn’t like the show, but like many other actors she doesn’t like watching herself on screen. Even though she’s a two-time Oscar winner and has had a career that has lasted decades, she believes she can always do better. She says, “It’s frustrating. I always see things that I would like to do differently and think, ‘Oh, why in the name of God did I do that?'”
Additionally, despite being exposed to new audiences who are unfamiliar with her past work, Smith says she doesn’t feel like much has changed in her career. She explains, “I don’t feel any different to the way I felt before and I’m not quite sure what (being a star) means. I am familiar to people now, which is what I was not before. That is entirely due to the television set.”