Warning: This article contains potential spoilers for the Downton Abbey movie.
With the Downton Abbey movie finally in theaters, fans can finally learn what happens to the Crawley family. But in chatting about the future of the matriarch, Dowager Countess Lady Violet Crawley, Dame Maggie Smith suggests that she’s probably tapping out.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the new Downton Abbey movie might just be the final hurrah for Lady Violet. The outlet believes that the movie is a changing of the guard, as the dowager countess realizes that the estate is in good hands with Lady Mary going forward.
In one of the final scenes of the movie, Violet tells Mary that “I’m leaving the family and the place that I treasure in talented hands.” Many believe this is Smith’s way of hinting that she won’t come back if there is another chapter of the Crawley story.
Producer Gareth Neame believes that scene is critical for fans of the series.
“It was really a question of passing on the baton to that next generation. Whether it’s her last movie, her last Downton movie, whatever, I don’t know. But there had to be that sense of the next generation are now in charge. It’s a moving scene.”
The cast of Downton Abbey didn’t want to do the movie without Smith, who was considered the anchor of the production. Allen Leech, who played Tom Branson, said it made sense that Dame Maggie was the last to sign on for the film.
“She’s the ‘Notorious MAG.’ It wouldn’t be right if she wasn’t last.”
However, Neame related to The Hollywood Reporter that Dame Maggie always says that she’s done before ultimately signing back on. And he has a point, as The Inquisitr quoted Smith as saying that the only way Lady Violet Crawley would be in the Downton Abbey movie was in a casket, only for her to finally give in and join the rest of the cast.
Smith had a laugh after agreeing to be in the film, saying that she was convinced that the big event in the Downton Abbey movie would be her memorial.
“I was firmly convinced it would start with the funeral. I could croak it and it would just start with the body.”
Dame Maggie Smith explained her reservations, saying that before Downton, she had led a normal life, and when she wasn’t working or at an awards show, she was allowed to move through life largely unnoticed. That, however, all changed thanks to the series.