Following on from the news that Dame Maggie Smith won
the Evening Standard's "Best Actress" Award, Smith spoke to The Standard about her fellow nominees, her early career, and playing ‘old bags.’
There is also sadness in her: it has been a month of bereavements. First Alan Rickman, who co-starred in the Harry Potter movies with her, and who she once said shared her relief when the film series ended because they had “run out of reaction shots”. Then, rather overshadowed by the deaths of David Bowie and Terry Wogan, we lost 89-year-old Frank Finlay, who was in the first National Theatre company with her at the Old Vic in 1962: he played Iago to Laurence Olivier’s notoriously hammy, blacked-up Othello. Smith was Desdemona.
She gives a husky laugh, then says: “You get a bit wobbly, you know, when you get to a certain age. It [mortality> seems to be too near.” Again, the counterpoint of light and shade that she does so well.