‘Downton Abbey’ Fans Get Their First Look At Maggie Smith As The Dowager Countess

Filming is fully underway for the Downton Abbey movie, and fans are finally getting to see some of their favorite cast members in costume, including Dame Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess. Smith was initially reluctant to return to the show as she thought by now, Violet Crawley would be dead.

The Downton Abbey movie was filming this week and Dame Maggie Smith and Geraldine Page were photographed together in a scene. It looks like the Dowager Countess got a new hairdo and some updated clothing, says Town & Country. This proves that Lady Violet is indeed in the movie follow-up to the popular PBS series, and she is alive and well, despite her previous comments that for a Downton movie, the Dowager Countess would only appear in a coffin.

Smith told Graham Norton after the series ended that she was happy to be done.

“By the time we finished, [The Dowager Countess] must have been about 110. It couldn’t go on and on. It couldn’t. It just didn’t make sense.”

Smith had quipped that if she was in a Downton Abbey movie, it would surely start with Violet’s funeral with the family and staff mourning her passing.

“I was firmly convinced it would start with the funeral. I could croak it. It would just start with the body. But I don’t know. They talk about there being a film, but who knows? Who knows.”

But there, on set, was the Dowager Countess, alive, well, and above ground, looking positively modern (for a Victorian).

People Magazine says that Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, was spotted in Brampton, England, on Thursday dressed in head to toe in lilac.

Page Six says that with the exception of Lily James (Cousin Rose), the whole gang is back together for the Downton Abbey movie, which will premiere in late 2019.

Focus chairman Peter Kujawski made the announcement that production of the long-awaited movie was underway.

“Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter. We’re thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors, and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen next September.”

While fans will see old favorites on the show, they will also see new cast members, including Academy Award nominee Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James, Simon Jones, David Haig, Tuppence Middleton, Kate Phillips, and Stephen Campbell Moore.