Hugh Bonneville

Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville admits he is ‘terrified’ of his co-star Dame Maggie Smith

She is daunting

Actor Hugh Bonneville has revealed he is “amazingly impressed” and yet “terrified” by his Downton Abbey co-star Dame Maggie Smith.

The 55-year-old, who played Lord Grantham in the popular historical drama, said he still found the legendary actress, 84, daunting to be around when they reunited to shoot the new film.

He said of Maggie: “She is absolutely razor sharp. Which is why you have to be on the top of your game when you’re [with her].

Downton Abbey - Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley (Credit: Downton Abbey / YouTube)

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“I can remember the very first scene that I shot with her back in 2010, I was absolutely terrified because I was working with a legend. And I can remember the very last scene I shot with her in 2018, and I was absolutely terrified because she’s a legend. Pretty much the same, consistently terrified, but amazingly impressed every time.”

Robert stars as Downton’s Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, while Maggie plays his formidable mother the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet Crawley.

Downton Abbey - Hugh Bonneville
Hugh plays the Earl of Grantham (Credit: Downton Abbey / YouTube)

Speaking further in his chat with People Now, Hugh insisted it’s Maggie’s “legend” status that makes her so nerve-wracking to share scenes with.

He continued: “There’s something about being in her presence, because you know she’s worked with legends, she is a legend, she’s got two Oscars, you know. You better be on form when you’re playing a scene with her.”

Elsewhere, the star said he really enjoyed reuniting with his cast mates for the film, which hit the cinemas earlier this month.

Fans of the show got a fresh Downton fix earlier this month, ahead of seeing the film, when This Morning broadcast live from the estate where it’s filmed.

Hugh Bonneville
Hugh admitted he finds Dame Maggie “amazing” (Credit: Jackie Brown /

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A delighted Holly Willoughby practically squealed with joy as she and Phillip Schofield sat on the This Morning sofa in the grounds of Highclere Castle.

They introduced the upcoming programme and revealed it would be filled with Downton-themed content – from a section about old-fashioned manners, to vintage fashion and chats with the cast of the movie.

But not all viewers were happy about it though, with some accusing This Morning of ‘overkill’ on the ITV period drama.

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