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Maggie Smith, 'Downton Abbey's crabby countess, doesn't watch

4:39 PM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
In this image released by PBS, Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess Grantham, is shown in a scene from the second season on "Downton Abbey." The 78-year-old actress, who portrays Lady Grantham in the popular PBS series, told “60 Minutes” that she hasn't watched the drama because doing so would only make her agonize over her performance. She said she may watch it someday. (AP Photo/PBS, Carnival Film & Television Limited 2011 for MASTERPIECE, Nick Briggs)
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(USA TODAY) Just when you thought that Downton Abbey's dowager countess can't top her own verbal outbursts - "What is a weekend?" - it looks like Dame Maggie Smith, who plays old Lady Grantham on the hit TV series, is flinging some zingers of her own.

She tells 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft on Sunday night that she doesn't watch the show, which centers on the lives of the aristocrats and their servants who live on a vast estate in rural England in the early part of the 20th century.

"I haven't actually seen it, so I don't - I don't sit down and watch it," she tells Kroft. "Never?" he asks. "No, I haven't watched it," she replies.

Smith, 78, who has won two Oscars, three Emmys and a Tony, tells Kroft she may watch the show someday but says she's afraid that if she watches, she'll "agonize" over her performance. "Because it's frustrating. I always see things that I would like to do differently and think, 'Oh, why in the name of God did I do that?' "

Best known for her starring role in 1969's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Smith also tells Kroft she doesn't give a hoot about her current celebrity thanks to the hugely popular Downton Abbey.

"I don't feel any different to the way I felt before and I'm not quite sure what (being a star) means. I am familiar to people now, which is what I was not before," she says. "That is entirely due to the television set."

Sunday night (9 ET/PT) also marks the closing episode of Season 3 of Downton Abbey on PBS.

Carol Memmott, USA TODAY

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