Her name is on the tip of many an Anglophile’s tongue for her portrayal as Downton Abbey‘s wickedly disagreeable Dowager Countess. Yet when she appeared on February 17th’s edition of 60 Minutes
(the same night PBS aired Downton’s Season 3 finale), she had a confession: she doesn’t watch her own show.
Dame Maggie Smith told 60 Minutes host Steve Kroft that she was amazed by the show’s popularity but admitted, “I’ve never actually seen it.”
The 78-year-old actress avoids watching her own performances when possible. “I always see things that I would like to do differently and think, ‘Oh why in the name of God did I do that?’ ”
For now, she intends to remain a non-viewer to avoid self-scrutiny, but says she “will look at it when it’s all over, maybe.”
Despite her evident self-consciousness fueled by nagging perfectionism, she enjoys the role and hopes to continue with the show for its entirety.
Smith mused, “Logically, Violet must be about 100 and something now, so I don’t know how she’s gonna last,” she said.
The interview can be viewed here: