The Dowager Countess is a force to be reckoned with, and that’s also true of the legendary actress who portrays the beloved “Downton Abbey” character.
“Downton” stars Elizabeth McGovern and Allen Leech dropped by Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live” to promote the new movie, and shared a telling anecdote about co-star Maggie Smith.
While taking phone calls from viewers, one caller asked the pair, “What’s a surefire way to know that Dame Maggie Smith is in a bad mood?”
“The cane!” exclaimed Leech as McGovern smiled and nodded.
“She always has the cane, and obviously it’s for the character, but there was one first AD,” he explained, with McGovern injerjecting, “That she hated!”
Continued Leech: “He organizes, and always wants to talk to you, he was one of those [leans in uncomfortably close to McGovern to imitate], ‘Like, hey, so in the next scene…'”
Smith, recalled Leech, “literally would have the cane there, and as she would see him coming she’d [imitating Smith muttering a profanity and then shooting her cane up as a barrier and declaring] ‘That’s far enough!'”
“And that’s how you deal with a close talker!” added Cohen in admiration.
“Downton Abbey” is in theatres now.