Dame Maggie Smith Says Her Roles In 'Harry Potter' And 'Downton Abbey' Weren't 'Satisfying'

Dame Maggie Smith has revealed that two of her most recognisable roles didn't really get her acting juices flowing.

Despite her flawless performances as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the 'Harry Potter' franchise and as Violet Crawley in the 'Downton Abbey' TV series (and film), Smith reckons she was phoning it in.

“I am deeply grateful for the work in Potter and indeed Downton but it wasn’t what you’d call satisfying," she said in an interview with the Evening Standard.

"I didn’t really feel I was acting in those things,” she added.

Her comments are only testament to her superb skills as a thespian. If she wasn't really breaking a sweat in her role as the Hogwarts Deputy Headmistress or as the Dowager Countess of Grantham then she had us all fooled.

Maggie Smith definitely not acting here! Image: ITV.

We're just glad she didn't bring her roles in 'Sister Act' or 'Hook' into this conversation.

But it seems her comments are less about disparaging her silver screen CV and more about emphasising her love of theatre --because treading the boards in front of a live audience is where the real acting happens.

"I wanted to get back to the stage so much because theatre is basically my favorite medium, and I think I felt as though I’d left it all unfinished,” she said.

“But there wasn’t anything that came along."



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Smith has acted in nearly 80 stage productions since her debut in 'Twelfth Night' 1952 including 'Hedda Gabler', 'Macbeth' and 'The Seagull'.

In April 2019, she returned to the stage after an 11-year hiatus in 'A German Life' by Christopher Hampton -- a script that focuses on an elderly German woman who ends up working as a secretary for the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels.

Main Image: Warner Bros.