Maggie Smith has had a marvelous career in the entertainment industry spanning more than 68 years. She has done impressive work on stage, television, film, and her performance in the "Harry Potter" series as Professor Minerva McGonagall is still counted among one of her most fabulous work.
However, Maggie Smith has revealed that she did not feel "satisfied with her performance as the steely Professor McGonagall in "Harry Potter," the eight film adaptations of J.K Rowling's literary works. The actress also did not feel happy about her role as Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham in "Downtown Abbey," because she "didn't really feel she was acting."
Speaking to Evening Standard, the 84-year-old said: "I am deeply grateful for the work in Potter and indeed Downton but it wasn't what you'd call satisfying, I didn't really feel I was acting in those things."
Smith won several accolades including three Emmys, her first non-ensemble Screen Actors Guild Award, and her third Golden Globe, for her performance on "Downton Abbey" (2010–2015). Her performance in the Harry Potter series is considered one of her most popular works. However, the actress and her late friend Alan Rickman who portrayed Professor Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" series, openly complained that their work in the movies consisted entirely of reaction shots.
"I wanted to get back to the stage so much because theatre is basically my favourite medium, and I think I felt as though I'd left it all unfinished. But there wasn't anything that came along," the mother-of-two said.
The actress also opened up about what encouraged her to pursue a career in acting and said: "Honest to God, I have no idea where the urge 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."
Despite enjoying a successful career in the industry, Smith did not want her children to follow in her footsteps and pursue acting. "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," the actress said about her two sons, actors Toby Stephens and Chris Larkin, that she shares with ex-husband and actor Robert Stephens.