Dame Maggie Smith Still a Victim of Stage Fright: “Now it’s just terror”
No one would have guessed that Dame Maggie Smith, a veteran on the big screen, faces stage fright this far on in her career. One would think that when starting an acting career the stage fright would hit sooner rather than later, but Smith thinks otherwise.
Although Smith has taken many big roles, including in Harry Potter as Minerva McGonagall and in Downton Abbey as the Countess of Grantham, she says the stage fright has gotten worse with her age, making her difficult to work with.
When you’re young, you’re just so thrilled to be doing it; of course you’re terrified, but as you get older, it’s because you realise how difficult it is to do. When you’re young, it’s excitement and terror. Now it’s just terror.
Obviously at some times I have been like that – the awful thing is, I’m sort of very aware when I’m being difficult, but I’m usually … so scared. And that’s shaming, at the age one is.
According to the Guardian, Dame Smith is currently suffering from glaucoma in one eye and is about to have a hip replacement. After recently seeing her portrayal as Mary Shepherd in The Lady in the Van, she was stirred.
I thought, ‘Jesus, it’s a wonder you’re alive’ … It was haunting, and I also felt a bit guilty.
Although Smith might not be a peach to work with, her portrayals of our favorite characters are spot on, and she’s become quite a legend on the big screen.
Smith appeared on The Graham Norton Show recently, where she promoted The Lady in the Van, which is out in the UK on November 13.
Are you planning on seeing The Lady in the Van? Let us know in the comments!