Even though the last season of Downton Abbey is getting ready to kick off soon, there is one cast member of the hit period drama that has yet to watch a single episode. Surprisingly, Maggie Smith, who portrays the Dowager Countess in the BBC series, still has not seen the show despite its end drawing near.
According to CBS News, the veteran actress and Dame admitted a few years back that she has yet to watch her own show. With that in mind, the news outlet recently asked her again if she had the chance to catch up on the series now that it is over. Surprisingly, Smith’s answer was more of the same.
“No. But they gave me the boxed set. And I’m going to do all sorts of things now, ’cause I’m free!” she explained in the interview.
The final season of Downton Abbey is scheduled to air in the U.S. as early as next week. However, fans in the U.K. have already had the opportunity to see the entirety of the sixth season, including the highly anticipated finale. Based on the report by BBC, the finale manage to attract some 6.6 million viewers. That number was only overtaken by the Queen’s public speech, which managed to gain 7.2 million viewers in the U.K. and on ITV.
Meanwhile, with the final episode quickly approaching, Smith also revealed to Express that she is not about to release any spoilers concerning the finale. Hilariously, it is not because of some strict code of silence that is keeping the actress from revealing anything about the finale. Instead, Smith told the outlet that she simply doesn’t remember everything that went down in the final installment.
“Yes, I am. But to speak truth, I can’t remember!” she explained in the interview. “Nobody was allowed to see the script. You had to read it and then eat it, just in case. Do not leave it anywhere!”
Apart from eating scripts in the name of secrecy, Smith also revealed that she did manage to get around some of the finer costume details with her character. More specifically, the actress was thankfully able to avoid the use of corsets during her time on the show.
“In actual fact, I have to say that I did cheat a bit,” Smith shared in the interview. “Because I promised that if I sat up, bolt upright, I made it look as though I were wearing corsets.”
Given its high ratings in the U.K., Downton Abbey’s Season 6 finale proved to attract more viewers than any other TV show on Christmas day. At the same time, the show’s highest rated episode managed to bring in 7.1 million viewers on a single night.
Although the series still managed to bring in an enormous amount of viewers throughout its six year run, it was Smith’s departure from the show that proved to be its undoing. In speaking about the possibility of continuing the series into a seventh season, producer Gareth Neame revealed that the show would not be the same without Smith at the helm.
“We easily could have gone for a seventh season, but if I’d have said ‘We haven’t got Maggie’ it would have been a shadow of itself,” Neame shared.
Unfortunately for fans, Smith’s decision to leave means that the sixth season will indeed be the final run for Downton Abbey. Perhaps now that she has more time on her hands, Smith can finally sit down and enjoy the series so many fans have come to love.
The sixth and final season of Downton Abbey is set to premiere in the United States on January 3.
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[Image via PBS]