Maggie Smith to 60 Minutes: I've Never Actually Seen Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey star admits she's not that interested in her newly minted celebrity resulting from the popular television drama

By Josh Grossberg Feb 15, 2013 3:30 PMTags

The Dowager Countess of Grantham isn't a fan of that thing we call television—or more specifically watching herself on it.

Dame Maggie Smith, who has won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe playing the cranky Violet Crawley on Downton Abbey, tells 60 Minutes in this Sunday's edition that she's never even seen the hit ITV/PBS series.

When asked by correspondent Steve Kroft whether she knew Downton was going to be so successful, the legendary actress expressed amazement and pride at its popularity, but then admitted what will undoubtedly come as a shock to the show's ever-devoted fan base. 

"I haven't actually seen it, so I don't—I don't sit down and watch it," Smith says.

"You must be the only person in England who's not watching it," quips the journalist.

"Well, that's a record then, isn't it?" the 78-year-old star replies, adding that she might look at it when it's all over. "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?'"

Younger viewers will probably best recognize Smith as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies, but the thesp is nonplussed by her newfound fame as the Countess, saying what she gets out of Downton is the "delight of acting."

The full 60 Minutes interview airs Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.