Downton star defends Maggie Smith

Published Tuesday, 21 August 2012
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Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol has hit back at a US TV executive who branded Dame Maggie Smith "very difficult" to work with, insisting the veteran star is professional at all times.

Downton star defends Maggie Smith

Harry Potter actress Smith has proved a huge hit with TV audiences as the catty Dowager Countess of Grantham, but long-running rumours suggest she is demanding behind-the-scenes.

Producer Rebecca Eaton, who works for American network PBS Masterpiece, said: "Maggie Smith is a handful, it's true. She's very difficult. She knows her worth, and she's tricky on the set, but she delivers when the time comes."

However, Smith's co-star Nicol, who plays cook Mrs. Patmore, insists the 77-year-old screen legend simply needs to rest between scenes due to her age.

She says: "Maggie's a professional, she does really well, working horrible, long hours sometimes for a lady that age.

"She has a rest between takes. That doesn't make her a snotty cow, it just means she needs a lie-down. She's not a diva."

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