Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Maggie Smith interview: from the archive, 5 June 1969 | Culture | The Guardian

Originally posted in The Guardian.

Maggie Smith in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969).

Maggie Smith in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969). Photograph: Fox/Everett/Rex

Someone once remarked of Maggie Smith that she sighs with the air of one whose foot has just found another banana skin. Certainly she speaks with a rather gloomy drawl which is initially a little depressing until one realises that this is her personal style of humour. That she regards life with an amused pessimism and self-deprecation is really rather modest of her considering she can be guaranteed to jerk anyone out of their seat the minute she appears on stage.

To the star’s dictum about never acting with children or animals should be added a clause “and never act with Maggie Smith either,” since she was renowned for playing supporting film roles which had a habit of drawing more attention than sometimes even the title role. Now, after the triumph as Jean Brodie, she is a film star in her own right as well as a stage star. She has not been on stage for three years; last week marked her return to both the theatre and her career, only five weeks after the birth of her baby, Toby, to rehearse the part of Margery Pinchwife in the Restoration comedy, “The Country Wife,” which will open in Chichester in July.

Naturally, being Miss Smith, she didn’t exactly feel joyful about anything, but she went so far as to admit it would be nice to spend the summer out of London while her husband Robert Stephens was away making a film. She was feeling “pretty shattered” at the end of the first week’s rehearsals, and it was the first time she had been…

via Maggie Smith interview: from the archive, 5 June 1969 | Culture | The Guardian.

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