Dame Maggie Smith wasn't 'satisfied' with Harry Potter role


Dame Maggie Smith didn't feel "satisfied" with her role in the 'Harry Potter' franchise.

The 84-year-old actress played Minerva McGonagall in seven of the British-American films based on a young wizard and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry but she's not proud of her part because she didn't feel like she was acting.

Speaking in this week's issue of ES magazine, she said: "Honest to God, I have no idea where the urge [to act] came from. It was such a ghastly time and we didn't go to the theatre. I got into terrible trouble once because the neighbours took me to the cinema on a Sunday. But I had a wonderful teacher, Dorothy Bartholomew, who also taught Miriam Margolyes, and who encouraged me.

"[And] it seemed to take ages to get away from light comedy. I am deeply grateful for the work in '[Harry] Potter' and indeed 'Downton [Abbey]' but it wasn't what you'd call satisfying. I didn't really feel I was acting in those things."

After a long-spanning career in the industry and experiencing both highs and lows, Maggie didn't want to encourage her sons Chris Larkin, 52, Toby, 50, whom she has with her ex-husband Robert Stephens, to follow in her footsteps.

She explained: "They weren't encouraged to act. If they wanted to do it, that was absolutely fine, but they don't have a leg to stand on if they complain about it."

Meanwhile, Maggie recently said she admires any young woman who attempts to join the film industry nowadays because it's all about having to "strip off every second".

She said earlier this year: "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.

"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."

The full interview appears in this week's issue of ES Magazine out December, 5 2019.