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Downton Abbey may be pretty popular in the U.K. and a period piece phenomenon in the United States. It’s been such a hit that it has made a splash during awards season, with veteran Maggie Smith taking home a couple of Emmys and a Golden Globe for playing the Dowager Countess on the hit series. Apparently, however, Smith doesn't tune in to watch the show.
In an interview with 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft, Smith admits she has never watched an episode of Downton Abbey. The topic comes up when Kroft asks the actress whether or not she’s proud of the success of the series and Smith is forced to pause and consider how to answer best. She eventually admits she’s never picked up the remote to watch an episode, but her reasoning is actually pretty sound.
“It’s frustrating. I always see things that I would like to do differently or think ‘Why in the name of God did I do that?’”
Still, it’s hard to believe that Smith could be part of a program that has earned so much high praise and popularity and not even tune in once or twice, even if she does find herself second-guessing her work. It’s not often that actors and actresses get to be a part of a series that becomes a cultural phenomenon, and while Smith has done it twice in a decade with the Harry Potter franchise and Downton Abbey, it’s still shouldn’t make the experience any less important.
Smith’s profile is set to air on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.