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Before Downton Abbey fans check out the season finale on their local PBS station Sunday night, they can see CBS' interview with one of the show’s stars, Dame Maggie Smith, during 60 Minutes. Smith, who has two Oscars and has won plenty of hardware for her role as Lady Grantham, makes a surprising revelation.
In the interview, Smith, 78, is asked by Steve Kroft if she’s proud of the show’s surprising success on both sides of the Atlantic. While she is, she admitted, “I haven't actually seen it, so I don't-- I don't sit down and watch it.”
“Never?” a surprised Kroft asks.
“No, I haven't watched it,” she replies.
Smith explains that she doesn’t like to watch her own performances in the fear that she’ll agonize over different ways she could have performed. “Because 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?'”
So, why did she take the role? “It's the delight of acting,” she replied.
Although Smith has had a lengthy career that includes the Harry Potter franchise, she’s never been as popular as she is now. Still, he has no interest in her newfound celebrity. “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,” she said. “That is entirely due to the television set.”
The third season finale of Downton Abbey airs on PBS at 9 p.m. Sunday. The 60 Minutes interview with Smith airs on CBS at 7 p.m. Sunday.