Maggie Smith Says ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Downton Abbey’ Roles Weren’t ‘Satisfying’

Maggie Smith Says 'Harry Potter,' 'Downton Abbey' Weren't 'Satisfying
Dame Maggie Smith David Fisher/Shutterstock

Wands at the ready. Dame Maggie Smith might be well-known for her roles in Harry Potter and Downton Abbey, but the legendary actress, 84, admitted that those projects won’t necessarily be making her career highlight reel.

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“I am deeply grateful for the work in Potter and indeed Downton, but it wasn’t what you’d call satisfying,” Smith revealed in an interview with the U.K.’s Evening Standard Magazine on Thursday, December 5. “I didn’t really feel I was acting in those things.”

The Tony Award winner put her theater career on hold after 2007 in order to reprise her role as Professor McGonagall in the beloved series of wizard movies. The Harry Potter franchise released eight films over the course of a decade, with the highly-anticipated final installment hitting theaters in 2011. One year before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 premiered, Smith began work on the BBC period drama Downton Abbey, which ended in 2015. The dame later returned as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the 2019 Downton Abbey film.

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Maggie Smith Says 'Harry Potter,' 'Downton Abbey' Weren't 'Satisfying
Dame Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley in ‘Downton Abbey.’ Liam Daniel/Focus Features/Kobal/Shutterstock

“I wanted to get back to the stage so much because theatre is basically my favorite medium, and I think I felt as though I’d left it all unfinished,” the Golden Globe winner explained to ES Magazine after making her triumphant return to the London theater scene in 2019’s A German Life. “But there wasn’t anything that came along.”

Though Smith may not have felt challenged by her involvement in these now-iconic pieces of pop culture history, her Harry Potter costars Tom Felton and Daniel Radcliffe aren’t ready to leave their Hogwarts days completely behind them. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes actor, 32, told Us Weekly exclusively in March that it wouldn’t take much to convince him to join forces with Radcliffe, 30, again on the big screen.

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“We do want to work together on some things or another,” Felton said at the time. “Daniel and I talk about one day I’ll get to be the good guy and he gets to play the villain. So yeah, you never know. They’ll bring us all back for a proper reunion one day.”

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