Maggie Smith sinks her choppers into a showy new role as a transient British woman in the fact-based “The Lady in the Van.”
In the new trailer for director Nicholas Hytner‘s new drama, Smith is seen interacting with neighbors on a quiet residential street — splashing paint on her van, chasing away music-playing youth and generally acting more cantankerous than the Dowager Countess she plays on “Downton Abbey.”
Sony Pictures Classics is planning an Oscar-qualifying run in New York and L.A. on Dec. 4, with a limited release to follow on Jan. 15.
The script is based on Alan Bennett‘s play, which earned Smith an Olivier Award in 2000 for playing the title role.
Smith is a two-time Oscar winner, for 1969’s “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” and 1978’s “California Suite.” She has four other nominations, most recently for her supporting role in 2001’s “Gosford Park.”