Maggie Smith Leaving ‘Downton Abbey’ After Season 6

Maggie Smith has decided she will no longer be on Downton Abbey past Season 6. During an interview with the Sunday Times, Smith revealed that Downton Abbey simply can’t go on forever, which means she doesn’t see the show going on past Season 6.

“They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on. I mean, I certainly can’t keep going. To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now. We’re into the late 1920s.”

On the show, Smith plays Lady Violet Crawley, and due to the success of the show, Maggie Smith said that Downton Abbey, above anything else she has ever done, has given her the most attention of her five-decade career. This isn’t something she was particularly looking forward to. “One isn’t safe after doing Downton. What’s sad is I’ve gone through my whole life without any of that. I could go round galleries and things on my own and I just can’t do it now.”

She continued to explain how much everything has changed since she first started in the industry. “What’s awful is it used to be just autographs, but now everyone wants photographs. You begin to feel like all those people who believed photographs took the soul away. There’s nothing like privacy, but nobody will have that soon. Nobody’s private anymore.”

Currently the actress is promoting her new film The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the sequel to the first film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva asked Downton Abbey’s executive producer Gareth Neame on the show’s future after Season 6, and if it will be the last. Neame didn’t give a straight answer.

“The question I am asked a dozen times a day. I don’t think I have ever known such speculation! Three years ago I was told that season three was the last! We’ll call time when we think the time is right. Julian and I cooked up this idea over dinner 7 or 8 years ago and have worked together on it ever since, I don’t think it is likely I will see if Matt Weiner wants to take over..”

[Image via BBC]