Actress Dame Maggie Smith has expressed surprise that she lived for long enough to finish filming popular television show Downton Abbey.
The 81-year-old, best known for playing Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, jokingly said at a press conference in London that the fact she "got to the end" of the series was a feat in itself.
"I'm just surprised that I got to the end because just before this I'd done about ten years with Harry Potter so I felt very old indeed by the time I got to the Dowager," Smith revealed.
The show is now over, with the final Christmas special having just aired.
Smith has said she will be putting her feet up for a little while at least to actually watch Downton Abbey as a viewer.
"I'm going to be lying down," she said. "I believe for quite some time."
"The other thing I will be doing is watching it. I will get the box set and have a good look. I certainly haven't watched anything that I've done. I have seen some of it. But I want to sit down and look at it all."
Two years ago, in a rare television interview with 60 Minutes, Maggie admitted she was struggling to live without Beverley — who was her third husband. At the time she agreed she was finding solace in her work and trying to stay busy to take her mind off his death.
"I think it would be very alarming to be completely alone and have nothing to do” she had said.
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