Maggie Smith will be leaving her role as the Dowager Countess on Masterpiece Theater’s “Downtown Abbey” after Season 6, and she says that might be the show’s final season.
Smith told the Times of London on Sunday that the time frame of the show would suggest the end is near.
“They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on,” Smith said.
“I mean, [my character] certainly can’t keep going,” she added. “To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now. We’re in to the late 1920s.”
“Downton Abbey” co-creator Gareth Neame told TheWrap that the series certainly has a cut-off, but was coy as to exactly which season would be its last.
“These things always have a shelf life,” he said. “We always try to judge that properly. I’ve said before that we made the fifth season; we’re now shooting Season 6. We won’t be there in Season 10, so somewhere in the next few years. We’d like to judge when the time feels right.”
Regardless of whether the show continues, the 80-year-old Smith told the British paper that although leaving a cast with whom she’s grown so close would be difficult, she would indeed be leaving when the sixth season finishes filming.
“When you’re not working it’s scary, and when you are working it’s scary, because you don’t know if you’ve got the energy to get through the day,” she said. “But the bleakness of not doing it, and missing out on the friendships that you make, is too much to bear.”