“No one wants to kiss a girl in black.”– Dowager Diva Violet Crawley
“I thought you didn’t like him.” “So what? I have plenty of friends I don’t like.”–Lady Violet Crawley, Countess Grantham
Maggie Smith won the Golden Globe last night for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of acid-tongued Countess Violet Crawley, Lady Grantham on Downton Abbey. Comedian Louis C. K. said he loves “old ladies” because at 70 “the filter comes off”. In Violet’s case, the aristocratic filter has likely been off for decades.
We’ve loved Maggie Smith for years, first as Jean Brodie (1969 Oscar For Best Actress) ) and now as two of the most outspoken and worldly-weary dowagers to grace the screen– Countess Grantham in Downton Abbey and Muriel in Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
“She’s a good friend, but she’s ruthlessly unsentimental. There was a moment on set where we were talking and she said, ‘Can I ask you something? Who did you really want to have play my part?’ I was like, ‘Are you kidding, Mags? Of course it was you! That was the fucking dream, obviously.’ And there was a long pause, and she said, ‘Why didn’t you write me a better fucking part, then?'” And rest assured, Smith was just as astringent when Parker made his sequel phone call: “She said, ‘Well, we’ll all be dead by then. Call it Marigold Hospice.'”