Famously known for her role as Professor McGonagall, Maggie Smith has stepped forward with a shocking revelation about her part in the widely acclaimed Harry Potter film series.
Dame Smith, who is best known for her roles in Potter and Downton Abbey, has revealed something that has both confused and angered longtime fans.
Maggie Smith Makes Shocking Harry Potter Claim
Dame Smith, who has a career spanning nearly seven decades and is one of the most recognizable British actors in the world, has made a strange claim about her time working on the Potter franchise. Speaking on the two franchises that brought her the most mainstream success (and financial reward), Smith made some bold claims.
“I am deeply grateful for the work in Potter and indeed Downton but it wasn’t what you’d call satisfying, I didn’t really feel I was acting in those things.”
This quote is surprising, given Smith’s range in both franchises and the rave reception her work got from the performances. The Potter films, in particular, brought her to international stardom, while Downton Abbey resulted in three Emmy wins for the actor.
Disappointing, but Not Unique
Sadly, it’s not uncommon for actors with a background in “high art” to be dismissive of their more commercially-friendly work. It took William Shatner years to come around on his fame as James T. Kirk, and even Alan Rickman had similar disparaging remarks for the franchise that made him a household name.
For an example to the contrary, however, one need look no further than an actor like Patrick Stewart, who has always leaned in on his fan-favorite roles. The former star of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Charles Xavier in the Brian Singer X-Men franchise has long held his nerdiest fans in the highest regard.
Maggie Smith on Today’s Young Actresses
In the same interview, Smith mused on the problems young actresses face in the industry today. “I think they are so brave, the young actresses of today. They seem to have to strip off every second. I can’t imagine how they cope with it today, I really don’t. They are required to do the most extraordinary things.”
The legendary actor added, “If I was asked to start now, I just don’t think I could, seriously. It’s difficult to imagine myself at that age because girls are starting even younger than how young I was [when I started]. I think it’s very, very, very hard now.”