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Maggie Smith beat illness to star in Downton Abbey movie

Maggie Smith overcame illness to film the new Downton Abbey movie, according to her co-star Hugh Bonneville.
The 84-year-old actress continually stole scenes as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the TV series, and reprises the role in the film version.
However, Hugh says his co-star had to draw on her inner strength to be at her best for fiming, as she wasn’t well before the shoot.
“She is a formidable actress,” he tells Britain’s Daily Express newspaper. “When you are in a room with her, you think ‘This is a woman in her 80s, is she OK?’
“Before we started filming, she had been poorly. Yet there is an absolute steel in her. Dame Judi Dench is the same, so is Joan Plowright and Eileen Atkins. I’ve been lucky enough to work with them all.”
Hugh has also hinted he and Maggie might be back for at least one more Downton film.
“‘I would like to think we haven’t seen the last of the Crawleys and the people who live at Downton Abbey, because they have become friends to so many millions of people around the world,” he recently told British newspaper The Sun.”So fingers crossed this film will work. I hope so, and let’s see the start of a franchise.”
The Downton Abbey movie debuts in cinemas on 13 September (19).

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